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Spring 2014

l.i.v. Life in the Valley

Earth friendly Not everything has to end up in the landfill

Bee good Pamper your garden with mason bees this spring Published byy

Alberni Valley Valley

NEWS


2 Alberni Valley News

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Life in the Valley ~ Spring 2014

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Alberni Valley News 3

Life in the Valley ~ Spring 2014

What’s Inside 4

12

4 Laughter is the best medicine 5 The buzz about bees 7 Dust out your bank account 8 Keep waste out of the landfill 8 City prepares for cleanup 10 Rid your body of toxins 12 Return policy for medication 14 Bears awake from hibernation Production and advertising by

Cover photography: Samuel Shanks of Port Alberni gets a global view of Earth Day at Harbour Quay. Photo by Susan Quinn

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4 Alberni Valley News

Life in the Valley ~ Spring 2014

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Belly full of laughs Chortle your way to good health

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s site director for West Brown’s research also led her to Coast General Hospital, the international Laughter Yoga Ellen Brown deals with movement led by Dr. Madan Kataria plenty of serious issues. from Mumbai, India. Kataria Over the past five began exploring years, she has found the physicial, that a little laughter psychological and goes a long way spiritual benefits toward providing of laughter in the balance in her life and mid-1990s. He and a promoting a sense of group of volunteers well-being. She has initially tried to been so impressed elicit laughter by with the benefits sharing jokes but the of laughter she has participants soon trained to be a leader found they had run for Laughter Yoga. out of material. On Sunday Kataria is convinced afternoons, she that fake laughter PHOTO COURTESY ISLAND HEALTH leads Laughter Yoga provides the same West Coast General Hospital sessions for a group benefits as the real site director ‘Ellie Belly Laff’ that meets regularly thing and, with the leads Laughter Yoga. at West Coast support of his yoga General Hospital in Port Alberni. She teacher wife Maduri, the doctor encourages seniors to let loose and developed a series of exercises that laugh at monthly events at Westhaven combine laughter and deep breathing. and Rainbow Gardens long-term Since 1995, Laughter Yoga clubs facilities. have been springing up around the Brown — or “Ellie belly laff ” as she world with more than 6,000 groups likes to be known in this role — also in 63 countries. Brown knows of leads sessions by request. She has at least 10 groups on Vancouver delivered presentations to groups Island. ranging from high school girls to an In a typical auditorium filled with 400 nurses. session, Brown’s interest in Laughter Yoga participants began in 2009 when she was asked warm up by to do a presentation on the health clapping benefits of laughter for Port Alberni’s while saying Food and Filosophy group. “Ha, Ha — Her review of studies conducted at Ho, Ho, Stanford University, the University Ho,” and of Maryland and elsewhere revealed follow a long list of benefits from laughter that later including reduced blood pressure, with the a boost to the immune system, playful cheer, “Very good, very good, improved oxygen levels throughout yay!” the body, massage for internal organs Exercises include and reduction in chronic stress. pretending to get an electric

shock while touching someone else’s finger and breaking into raucous laughter or acting as if you are stifling an ever-increasing urge to sneeze. “There are all sorts of resources online to learn about exercises and some people take part in groups online or by phone,” Brown says. Brown is accustomed to skeptical responses to Laughter Yoga but she is convinced that it has tangible benefits. She recalls feeling nervous before leading a Laughter Yoga session in Nanaimo for a group of people providing palliative care. “The feedback from that group was among the most positive I’ve received. One woman came up and said, ‘That is the first time in about four months that I haven’t felt the weight of my husband’s diagnosis on me.’” Proponents of Laughter Yoga are getting ready to spread a little extra glee around the planet with special events planned to mark World Laughter Day on May 4.


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Alberni Valley News 5

Life in the Valley ~ Spring 2014

The Buzz about bees

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oney bees are dying off in North America in alarming numbers due to Colony Collapse Disorder. This trend is a concern to gardeners and farmers alike, because of the important role bees play in pollinating plants. However, there are other types of bees besides honey bees that are pollinators, including bumble bees and mason bees—which are native to the Pacific Northwest and other places in North America. In the United States, there are 3,500 species of bees other than honey bees that pollinate crops and gardens. Individuals can help

maximize their yield in the garden by enticing pollinating bees. The Toronto Beekeepers Cooperative suggests planting larger and varied patches of flowering plants to encourage bee foraging. Provide a constant source of water: a beehive population can consume approximately half a litre of water per day. Consider hanging a mason bee house from the eaves of your own house. Mason bees are the size of houseflies and don’t sting, but they are great pollinators. Information courtesy of Home Hardware.

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6 Alberni Valley News

Life in the Valley ~ Spring 2014

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Get in the game Discover how golf can keep you young

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aseball, basketball, football, hockey, and soccer are amongst traditional sports we associate with our lifestyles. They have been cornerstones of not only a love of the thrill, but also our culture. In all honesty though, have they been integral to one’s long-term health? To a point, but most of these sports tend to go past “the line drawn in the sand”. That’s the line where they become potentially detrimental to one’s health. I’m not knocking them, because I played successfully in two of those sports, but if you’re in the market for an alternative sport, one you can play into your twilight years, think about golf. It may be why golf is the perfect sport. Perfect because it not only develops muscle flexibility and tone, but it is an honest complement to our bodily systems like circulation, digestion, and respiration

among others. As well, it is as kind to our bodies at a young age as it is in retirement years. I’ve heard the debates before whether or not golf is a sport and frankly when it comes to the needs of the body, can there truthfully be an argument or a better sport for the outdoors type? In a paragraph or two, let me explain how golf can help you, as a legitimate source of healthy well being. First, golfing with others or yourself is therapeutic. Either way is an examination of the soul or its social benefits and hardly debatable. Second, it’s a game and one shouldn’t be thwarted watching the seriousness of PGA stars on television. Games are meant to be fun and golf, regardless of what is seen on the TV is fun. Treat golf like playing Trivial Pursuit and see how well you score! Third, golf is healthy. The walk, particularly if brisk, benefits the cardiovascular

system, it keeps the circulation upbeat, and the movement through the ball, using one’s body, helps your digestion. Plus, if you keep score and are always attempting to improve, it sharpens your hand/eye coordination, along with your awareness and focusing abilities. Fourth, being in fresh air immersed amongst mother’s nature is naturally embracing. As a sport, it is friendly without the bodily impacts whose results can be life lasting. Last, and I think amongst its best reasons is because families can play it together as a sport, outing, or simply for companionship. Try playing basketball together, for instance, as a formal or informal family sport. While possible, the dynamics are not near as convenient compared to golf. So if family matters, the sport of golf is a natural. If all this is not persuasive

enough, remember golf is a sport that is playable by anyone and of any performance level. Is there another sport where an elderly person could have a legitimate game of golf with Tiger Woods for instance? In golf you can because of the method of handicapping which allows an accurate stroke difference permitting each participant to play to his or her own unique level. So, if lifestyle means anything to you, if living has a place in your heart, or if being kind to your body for all the years you hope to recreate is important, yourself a favour. Get some lessons, buy some equipment (you don’t need the best) and get out onto the golf course (any course). Remember, your life is too valuable not to golf! This article was provided by Patrick Little owner of Hollies Executive Golf Course in Port Alberni.


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Spring clean your financial needs

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inancial institutions offer a multitude of investing and lending products for individuals. Your financial institution not only offers daily chequing and savings accounts but also investing products designed to potentially grow your investments. Whether you are planning your retirement, saving for your child’s education or saving tax free, your financial institution has the right product for you. If your goal is to retire to the sunshine or golf course, RSPs are a great way to support your savings. The bonus to a regular RSP savings plan is a tax receipt to be used against your taxable income.

Alberni Valley News 7

Life in the Valley ~ Spring 2014

If your goal is to save for your child’s education RESP accounts offer an opportunity to benefit from a government grant. If your goal is to save on a regular basis a Tax Free Savings account is an option with a benefit. For Tax Free Savings accounts our federal government has given a yearly cumulative exemption for tax purposes. This means that you do not need to add the interest earned in the account to your yearly income for tax purposes. Your financial institution also offers a wide variety of lending products with loans and mortgages at competitive rates. Continued / 13

Laurie Josefson

Mutual Funds Representative TD Investment Services Inc. 3008 Third Avenue Port Alberni, British Columbia V9Y 2A5 T: 250 720 4810 Ext. 225 F: 250 720 4814 laurie.josefson@td.com

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8 Alberni Valley News

Life in the Valley ~ Spring 2014

Waste not

Companies keep hazardous waste out of landfills

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pring is a time for out with the old and in with the new; but people should be careful of what they throw into the landfill. Did you know that there are facilities in the Alberni Valley that will take old car batteries, paint, oil and oil filters and more? You don’t have to take a trip to the landfill yourself, there are local businesses that will take such items from you and dispose of them in an earth-friendly manner. (This solution is only for non-business people, not businesses.) Also there is another way that we can be more friendly with mother nature and pets. There is pet-friendly coolant for your vehicle—a great way to protect the four-legged members of your family.

If you change your own coolant and don’t have a petfriendly product, you can bring your old coolant to be disposed of in a safe way that won’t be of any harm to anyone or anything. If you have spilled a product such as oil, gasoline or paint thinner there are those who can help you with a solution of how to clean up that mess. The environment will thank you, as will future generations. Throwing your waste products down a storm drain may get rid of your unwanted fluid— paint, oil, antifreeze etc. But did you know that those drains empty into our canal that supports, birds, fish, wildlife, plant life and all other sustainable life? If you are on a septic system make sure to have your tank emptied at least once every three years. There are also

products that are eco-friendly and can be added to your tank to help decompose matter and keep your system running smoothly. When hiring a professional they will make sure there aren’t any leaks or that root systems are not invading your system. As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention, is worth a pound of cure.” From being an eyesore to releasing toxins, improper waste disposal on any scale can create environmental problems, health problems and even economic concerns. This is also true for older landfill sites, which are often unlined. The lining of landfills prevents toxic substances from being released into the ground water. This article was provided by Hetherington Industries in Port Alberni.

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Get ready to clean, Port Alberni The City of Port Alberni is inviting businesses and individuals to help clean up the community later this month during the Pride in Port Alberni Clean Up. Scheduled for the week of April 27 through May 3, this semiannual event is in its second year with ever increasing participation. Local businesses, service organizations and citizens are encouraged to join forces against litter in an effort to beautify the city and inspire further civic pride. “Port Alberni businesses and residents continue to step up to the plate and show just how much pride they have in their city” said Mayor John Douglas. “It is truly inspiring to see folks from all across the community join forces to clean Port Alberni together”. This year the weeklong event will be capped off with a clean up and volunteer appreciation event at the city’s new beach, Canal Beach, off Plywood Drive. This is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 3 with some light refreshments provided. Volunteers can register by calling the city at 250720-2822. Tools, bags and other safety equipment will be made available upon request.


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Life in the Valley ~ Spring 2014

Alberni Valley News 9

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10 Alberni Valley News

Life in the Valley ~ Spring 2014

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Feel better naturally Detox for spring

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ur bodies are constantly being Weight gain occurs because toxic chemicals bombarded by toxic exposure from in the body damage the mitochondria in cells the food supply, household cleaners, (the organelles that produce ATP and energy), and the environment. Some classes of toxic slowing the metabolism down. compounds include dioxins (from chemical Most people who diet to lose weight fail. plants), solvents (air fresheners, perfumes, and They may lose a few pounds initially, but anything that has an artificial smell), pesticides then they gain all the weight back and more. (found in food), phthalates (found in plastics), They often feel sluggish, tired, depressed, heavy metals (mercury-found in large fish and moody, and achy after losing pounds because mercury amalgam fillings), and Bisphenol A the toxins in their bodies (most toxins are (from drinking out of plastic bottles). fat-soluble and are stored in our fat cells) are These toxins we are exposed to have been linked to released when they lose weight and are circulated through cancer and found to be toxic to the central nervous the body. system, hormone system, and the immune system. The liver and kidneys are unable to detoxify the body When our bodies are healthy, and the liver, kidneys and fast enough because the toxic load is so high, and the digestive system are functioning optimally, we can rid the person becomes sick. body of harmful toxins. The best way to lose weight and feel better is to make However, when our toxic load becomes too high, we a lifestyle change that is permanent and long-lasting. We may experience symptoms such as fatigue, depression, must stop new toxins from entering the body and get JEANNIE headaches, memory problems, chronic pain, brain fog, accumulated toxins out of the body. DOIG, ND and asthma and allergies. The increase in autoimmune The ways to accomplish these goals are to clean up diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and Hashimoto’s your diet, clean up your home environment, use toxin-clearing thyroiditis are also quite strongly linked to an increase in toxic supplements, and improve toxic elimination through the bowels. Continued / 13 burden.

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Life in the Valley ~ Spring 2014

Alberni Valley News 11

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12 Alberni Valley News

Life in the Valley ~ Spring 2014

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Return policy Pharmacies keep drugs out of the landfill

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he oldest medication ever returned to pharmacist Larry Johannessen was dated from the 1960s and the liquid inside was “a black mess.” “That’s not a common occurrence,” admits Johannessen from his Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy in Port Alberni. “But we regularly see medications more than 10 years old, especially with our seniors. “The expiry date is sometimes too small for them to read, so they keep it around ‘just in case’ they might need it someday.” Luckily, British Columbians are now hearing more about the Medications Return program from their pharmacists and the media, and returning expired medications to their local pharmacy rather than keeping them in the back of their cupboards for a few decades. After more than 23 years practicing pharmacy in the small Vancouver Island community, Johannessen says that he’s seen quite an evolution in medication returns. “When I was a new grad, we would tell people to put medications in plastic bottles and throw them in the landfill or flush them down the toilet, but it always was the wrong thing to do,” he said. “Medications are complex molecules capable of much good, but also much harm if put in the wrong place. But back then, if a customer did return medication to the pharmacy, there was nowhere to put it except in the garbage.” That all changed with the launch of BC’s Medication Returns program, the first of its kind in North America. Because of its success, the program has since been emulated in other provinces and states. Run by the Health Products Stewardship Association, the program is funded by the pharmaceutical and consumerhealth products industries. Once collected by the pharmacy, medications are tracked by weight, pickup date, and

location, and stored in a secure location What can you return? until a shipment is accumulated for safe destruction through a licensed • All prescription drugs incineration facility. • Over-the-counter More than 95 per cent of pharmacies in BC now participate. medication including topical “When the program came out, I was antibiotic creams already sold on the idea of properly • Natural health products you managing the unwanted medications,” said Johannessen, who had read reports take by mouth about the impact flushed medications • Chinese medicines were having on fish in the Great Lakes. • Herbal products He encourages his customers to bring their unwanted or outdated medications • Probiotics and dispose of them properly in the • Homeopathic medicines program’s blue bins. He also uses pharmacy flyers to remind patients about the program throughout the year. He says patients return unwanted medications at least a few times a week, This article was reprinted and although the amounts returned are with permission from the sometimes small, every bit counts in BC Pharmacy Association protecting the environment. magazine The Tablet, Feb/ “It’s not uncommon for people to bring March 2013. in one or two full bags of medications,” he added. “Everything from old OTCs to prescription meds and even homeopathic/ naturopathic meds, old puffers, liquids and suppositories. “Patients are relying on us to take care of them— and with the Medications Return program we can do just that.” Pharmacist Larry Johannessen of the Medicine Shoppe pours returned medication into one of the BC Medications Return Program’s blue boxes.


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Life in the Valley ~ Spring 2014

Alberni Valley News 13

Feed yourself Identify priorities wholly, healthily From / 7

From / 10

We can rid the diet of toxins by eating mostly organic fruits and vegetables, organic meats, and organic whole grains and avoiding all packaged foods with added chemicals and preservatives. I suggest to patients if they can’t afford to eat all organic, at least avoid the “Dirty Dozen” which are the most highly sprayed fruits and vegetables. These 12 include in order of importance: apples, bell peppers, carrots, celery, cherries, grapes, kale, lettuce, nectarines, peaches, pears, and strawberries. Also, non-organic meats are leading sources of chlorinated pesticides especially nonorganic beef, non-organic dairy products, farm-raised fish, and non-organic butter. These chlorinated pesticides have been documented to slow thermogenesis (the rate at which our fats are burned to make energy), making it hard to lose weight and easy to gain it. Eat foods that battle toxins such as green tea, broccoli, and berries (especially blackberries). Green tea not only helps the liver detoxify, but it has been proven to lower cancer risks and increase metabolism. Green tea also has powerful anti-anxiety properties. Broccoli boosts liver enzymes to help move pollutants out of the blood, and it boosts glutathione function, which helps usher toxins out such as pesticides and solvents. Berries are powerful anti-oxidants that

“Eat foods that battle toxins, such as green tea, broccoli and berries (especially blackberries).” quench free-radical damage from toxins. As a naturopathic doctor, I assess each patient’s toxic load through a thorough case history, physical exam, weight and fat percentage testing, and urine testing. The pH of each patient’s urine is assessed since acidity in the urine is a sign of increased toxic load. Individualized meal plans are prescribed incorporating a whole foods diet and reducing sugar and food sensitivities (often wheat and dairy). For detoxification, I give high doses of vitamins and minerals in oral or intravenous form in accordance with the patient’s needs. A high fibre diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is recommended to help increase the bowel’s elimination of toxins. Patients who comply with the recommendations report feeling younger, healthier, and lose weight by undergoing these lifestyle changes. Dr. Jeannie Doig, ND, is a naturopathic doctor practising at the Alberni Natural Health Group. www.drjeanniedoig. com

If your goal is to purchase your first home, your financial institution can assist with a savings plan to build your down-payment. Did you know that you can use some of your RSP savings towards your down-payment? You do not need to repay the tax you have saved if you pay back the funds to your RSP once you own your home. If your goal is to renovate your existing property or maybe landscape your property you may choose to use some of the equity in your home. You may choose to apply for a Home Equity Lines of Credit, secured by your property, to finance your project. You will also have the opportunity to apply for credit cards with

travel bonus points or travel miles. These bonus miles and points are a great way to save and travel the world and all you have to do is charge your purchases to your credit card. This article was provided by Claire Tucker, branch manager at TD Canada Trust.

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14 Alberni Valley News

Life in the Valley ~ Spring 2014

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Are you Bear Smart? Humans need to do their part to keep habitat safe forr aallll beings

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here exactly does wildlife management in our community begin?  The answer might be surprising.  It begins before an animal, bear or otherwise, has even placed a paw within the community.  Many may believe a call to the local conservation officer is the first step to managing urban wildlife conflict, when in fact earlier preventative management practices are the key.  The first step begins with you.  Every resident in the community is a “wildlife manager” and responsible for managing wildlife attractants on their property.  Have a look at your backyard; is there anything that may invite a bear onto your property and into your neighbourhood?  Are there fruit trees that need harvesting?  Does your garbage need to be in a secure building until the morning of pick up?  Is the pet food outside?  Do you only use your birdfeeder during the winter months?  Do your neighbours need professional help managing their attractants?  These proactive measures will help prevent bears from ever becoming interested in your neighbourhood.  Historically, the problem of human-bear conflict in urban centers has been mainly reactive, usually ending in the destruction of the bear (Davis et al, 2002). Bears are resilient food generalists and easily adapt to human environments, significantly increasing the risk to public safety. Rapidly increasing populations of food-conditioned bears due to human mismanagement of bear attractants predominantly contribute to the ineffective solution of lethal bear management. Community residents are the primary “wildlife

manager’s of urban bears and, when educated, have the ability to proactively mange this problem upon inception.  In addition to the individual effort, residents can find wildlife management support from various sources in their community. The Alberni Valley Bear Smart program is largely focused on providing public education through community presentations and individual communications. In addition, Bear Smart committee members work in partnership with municipal governments and other stakeholders to develop “Bear Smart” Community regulations, consistent educational programs and attractant management projects such as fruit harvesting.  Your actions do make a difference.  It may be a cliché, but an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  To report any wildlife-human interactions where public safety may be at risk, call the Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-RAPP (7277).

What you DO, matters! • DO store garbage indoors or in a bearproof enclosure until morning of pickup. • DO store all coolers indoors. • DO keep pet dishes indoors and store pet food indoors. • DO harvest ripe and fallen fruit daily.

Information provided by Christina Brack, Alberni Valley Bear Smart.


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Life in the Valley ~ Spring 2014

Alberni Valley News 15


16 Alberni Valley News

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Life in the Valley ~ Spring 2014

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April 11, 2014