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FRIDAY APR 25, 2014 VOL. 41, NO. 16


including GST


Our radioactive ocean?

Earth Day essays

Dancing, singing and paddling

Islander looks for answers about Fukushima pollution in local waters

Reflections on how to keep our planet healthy

Spring things to do on Bowen

Members of the IPS senior ultimate frisbee team in a game against Sutherland school last week at Bowfest field. The team won their match with a final score of 13 - 5. This weekend, IPS ultimate teams are heading to the Spring Reign tournament in Washington State. Meribeth Deen, photo

Rezoning plans stoke fears about competition for local businesses MERIBETH DEEN EDITOR

According to Marion Moore, back in 1935, when the Union Steam Ship Company gave the land that is now Bowen Court for Bowen Island’s second school, and subdivided the land along Miller Road for housing, the company placed a covenant on the land to prevent new businesses from being built in the area. The idea, says Moore, whose father was on the school board at the time, was to stop any competition for the Old General Store (today, the Bowen Island Library) before it started. Moore brought the point forward during last week’s meeting on the rezoning of Bowen Island’s community lands, specifically, the portion of currently wooded land between Senior’s Lane (behind the Bowen Island Museum and Archives) and the Bowen Island Community School

playing field. Municipal planning consultant Judy McLeod said that no such covenant came up in her search of provincial property records. However, it seems the intent of such an agreement, whether it ever existed or not, is one Bowen Islanders continue to feel strongly about. At the meeting, André Chollat asked why, when we see existing businesses in the Cove struggling to survive, would we want to add more commercial space into the mix. Edna Thompson added that rezoning to accommodate commercial intent is “contrary to the previous expectations of the entire Bowen Island community,” and that an comprehensive assessment of commercial needs be conducted and an economic plan be created before any new commercial zoning is allowed. Jean Jaimeson wrote in to The Undercurrent, to add her voice to the mix stating that, “the commercial uses permit-

Bowen Island 26 year resident. Living It. Loving It.

Dee Elliott



ted under this zoning would allow much undesirable competition for our established businesses.” When asked, owners of established local businesses expressed hesitance regarding the creation of a third retail shopping area on Bowen. Amrita Sondhi, owner of Movement clothing at Artisan Square, says the idea of creating a third shopping area on Bowen does not strike her as a good idea. “It is a little bit scary,” says Sondhi. “Right now there are two really good shopping areas on Bowen, and if there were three, that might dissipate things so that none of them would succeed.” Piers Hayes, owner of the Snug Cafe, says more retail is fine, but he would resist a situation that would bring one more coffee shop to the Cove. continued, PAGE 10

SHIOSAI 2.7 acre Waterfront With a West Coast influence, this Japanese inspired waterfront home provides an unparalleled Bowen experience. Designed by Architect David Weiser to blend into the surrounding rock and centered around the tranquillity of a Japanese garden this home looks outward and inward for its light. Immaculately maintained and lovingly cared for throughout. Separate entry to a guest house. SW views over Onion, Pasley and Worlcombe Islands. Located on 2.7 acres with a property to compliment the home with its decks, patios, trails to the beach, meandering stream, forest, rock and 235 ft of water frontage. Discover the small details that make such a big difference. This property is in a class of its own.








2 • FRIDAY APRIL 25 2014


BICC - THIS IS MY COMMUNITY The “choir massage” brings extra fun and relaxation to BICC practices. Lorraine Ashdown, photo


MEMBERS REQUESTED FOR THE INFRASTRUCTURE ADVISORY COMMITTEE Bowen Island Municipal Council is requesting applications from members of the public interested in joining the Infrastructure Advisory Committee (IAC). The Committee provides advice and recommendations to Council and staff on opportunities/requirements for infrastructure-related matters on Bowen Island. Members should be a resident or property owner of Bowen Island and have some general knowledge related to infrastructure development or infrastructure-related issues. Please visit the Committee’s page on the BIM website for more information, including the Terms of Reference: http://www. Those interested in sitting on the IAC are asked to fill out an application form: Please submit your completed application via email, fax or regular mail by Friday, May 1, 2014 at 4:00 p.m. to: Hope Dallas, Acting Committee Clerk Bowen Island Municipality 981 Artisan Lane Bowen Island, BC V0N 1G2 EMAIL: WEBSITE: PHONE: 604-947-4255 FAX: 604-947-0193




experience necessary’ I had anticipated a fairly loose group of people trying their best to sing. My first rehearsal with the group set me straight At the end of the evening following choir pracon that. tices, members usually take a couple of minutes Ellen: Some of the songs we’re doing are pretty to socialize before locking up the doors of Cates advanced level choral works. That’s pretty amazHill Chapel and calling it a night. One evening, I ing. It’s really not so much about individual voicapproached choir director Ellen MacIntosh with es, it’s more about what they bring to the overall a series of questions for an article to be pubsound of the choir. I listen to the mix and then lished in The Undercurrent. MacIntosh, of course it’s about blending voices and finding the balance is not only our director, but is also - as many of in shaping the songs. If you break it down into you know - the General Manager of the Ruddy smaller manageable parts it’s not so daunting. Potato, and mom to Molly and Annie. With the I realized she’s dead-on in that description. expansion of the store this spring, integrating When you look at some of the songs at the start a new computer system and prepping for her of the season, it’s easy to be skeptical on how the daughter’s grade twelve graduation (many of you task can actually be accomplished, but Ellen has a can relate to this I’m sure) she sighed that she was way around music and by the end of the season, very short on time at the moment. we’ve got it. Instead she suggested I write something sharing Then Ellen said something that really resonated my experience as a fairly new choir member. As I with me. was standing there trying to figure out who would “This choir is my community. When you are be interested in that, she continued voicing her involved with soccer with your kids and it’s over, thoughts ... so is that gathering of friends and family. This Ellen: Did you know that this is the longest choir continues each season over many years. It’s a running community association on Bowen Island? harbour for the continuum of growing friendships Me: I did know that the choir had been runand network of islanders young and old.” ning for 22 years but I’ve only been on island for That statement is true for me as well. It’s been the last two of those years, so no, didn’t know a big part of my community since moving here. that. That’s quite an accomplishment. I guess I Beyond making some great friends, this season I could talk about how when I joined and saw ‘no also participated in singing at the funeral of one of our beloved choir B O W E N I S L A N D M U N I C I PA L I T Y members and just a few weeks ago we celebrated a member’s 50th at the Rustique Bistro. It’s a perfect blend of community, music and song - that’s what the Bowen Island Bowen Island Municipality Community Recreation Department has full and Community Choir has part time positions available for Summer Staff. Positions include but are not to offer. Come and see limited to Daycamps, Specialty Camps, and Playcare. Hours per week and for yourself at our May number of weeks will vary depending on the nature of the position. Weeks 3rd Spring Concerts: of work will occur from mid-June through late August. 2 pm and 7:30 pm. at The ideal candidates for these positions have previous experience working Cates Hill Chapel. with groups of children and youth, are enthusiastic and creative, able Tickets at Cates to work in a team environment, enjoy participating in a large variety of Pharmacy or the door. activities, have excellent communication skills, and are highly organized. PS: We will offer The applicant will have current First Aid and CPR training. Lifeguarding concession goodies for certification is an asset for some positions. FREE at intermission of both concerts. We thank all applicants, but advise that only those selected for an interview PPS: Ellen said not will be contacted. Please submit your covering letter and resume via e-mail, to tell because it’s a fax or mail by Apr.30, 2014 at 4:00 p.m. to: surprise but I’m going Christine Walker, Human Resources Manager to go out on a limb Bowen Island Municipality here and give you a 981 Artisan Lane little hint... we’re doing Bowen Island, BC V0N 1G2 something that has to do with cups and a FAX: 604-947-0193 band called Lulu and EMAIL: the Lampshades (just WEBSITE: saying...) SUBMISSION


Please remember: If you see our “4-Way Flashers” flashing... Give us a BRAKE... don’t leave us behind! Pull over when it’s safe to do so and let us pass... A Public Service Message from the Volunteers of the Bowen Island Fire Department



FRIDAY APRIL 25 2014 • 3

Islander raising money to test local waters for radiation

Michael Chapman sits on his front step, reading his Geiger counter. Meribeth Deen, photo


Since March 2011, when the tsunami caused by the 9.0 magnitude earthquake that hit Japan’s east coast hit the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant causing three of its reactors to explode, some 300 tons of radioactive materials have leaked into the Pacific Ocean. The leaks continue, along with questions about the safety of Pacific waters and seafood. Bowen Islander Michael Chapman says he is distrustful of official information on the amount of radioactive pollution that has travelled to our coast following the disaster, and has started fundraising to have local waters tested.

T ID ES Fri.

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LOW FEET 0959 2141 1045 2339 1128 2331 1209 0020 1249 0106 1328 0152 1406

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5:30 am # 6:30 am 7:30 am 8:30 am 9:30 am 10:30 am 11:30 am 12:30 pm 3:00 pm 4:00 pm †5:00 pm 6:00 pm 7:00 pm * 8:00 pm 9:00 pm 10:00 pm

VANCOUVER Horseshoe Bay

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Distance: 3 NAUTICAL MILES Crossing Time: 20 MINUTES

Leave Horseshoe Bay

H:14 L: 6

0320 1551 Sat. 0402 1658 Sun. 0440 1755 Mon. 0517 1847 Tue. 0552 1936 Wed. 0626 1328 Thurs. 0659 2110


In Effect April 1, 2014 to April 27, 2014

Leave Snug Cove


“I’d like to at least establish a baseline for what’s normal in terms of the radiation around us,� says Chapman. “Radiation is everywhere, but I would like to know, five years from now, have we seen an increase in the amount of radiation that’s come from Fukushima? Because the thing about radiation is that you can identify exactly where it’s come from. It is very traceable.� Chapman says his concerns about radiation and his distrust of official information stem back to his time in Ontario, when he worked side by side with his father, who was an environmental lawyer and investigator. Following the meltdown at the Fukushima reactor, Chapman says he feared not only the consequences of the incident, but also, that the Tokyo Electric Power Company




would cover-up information. More recently, Chapman has made unsuccessful attempts to get information about levels of radioactivity in local drinking water. “The municipality told me they only tested for things they were obligated to test for, and testing for radioactive materials is not on that list. They told me to go talk to Vancouver Coastal Health, and they told me not to worry about it, and didn’t give me any information at all.� For $200, Chapman purchased a Geiger counter. “It’s Russian-made,� he says. “It measures the energy levels being put out by local sources of radiation, but it can’t tell you what kind of radiation it is. So far I’ve noticed that radiation levels are often higher during rain storms, but the information I get from the Geiger counter is really not specific enough. What’s interesting about radiation, is that with the right equipment you can determine exactly where a particular isotope has come from.� Bowen Islander, and Executive Director of the Living Oceans Society Karen Wristen, says fears about the contamination of nuclear materials caused by the meltdown at Fukushima are not unfounded. Wristen says that she was terrified when she first heard about what happened at the nuclear power plant. “Any thinking person should’ve been scared,� she says. Her organization researched the impacts of the initial and ongoing leakage of nuclear materials into the Pacific, and in January, published an article on its website titled, “Should you worry about Fukushima radiation on Canada’s Pacific coast?� “We ran a project with volunteers cleaning up tsunami debris from beaches, so we wanted to make sure it was safe to do that,� says Wristen. “But we also heard from people who were fearful about nuclear contamination, and eating seafood harvested in the Pacific. So we wanted to address those concerns.� The Living Oceans Society delivered two main conclusions in its article. The first, is that radiation levels found off the coast of British Columbia remain low, 20 thousand times lower, in fact, than the levels allowable in Canadian drinking water. The second is that despite low levels of radiation found in some fish (bluefin tuna) it is still safe to eat seafood from the Pacific. “When we published that, we actually received a lot of calls from people saying that if we didn’t change what we wrote, and say that radiation levels are dangerous in our waters, that they would work to get our funding pulled,� says Wristen. Wristen says that she does think there should be more testing on the impacts of contamination caused by the Fukushima meltdown, especially when it comes to seafood. “This is an ongoing issue,� she says. “And it is important from the standpoint of public confidence.� continued, PAGE 8

Places of Worship Welcome You BOWEN ISLAND UNITED CHURCH Rev. Shelagh MacKinnon

Service and Sunday School: 10:30 a.m. Collins Hall Bookings: Helen Wallwork Minister of Music: Lynn Williams


BOWEN ISLAND COMMUNITY CHURCH Pastor Clinton Neal 1070 Miller Road 604-947-0384 Service 10:00 a.m. Sunday School 10:30 a.m.






CATES HILL CHAPEL 604-947-4260


Mass: 10:30 a.m. Priest: Father James Comey

(661 Carter Rd.)


4 • FRIDAY APRIL 25 2014

WWW.BOWENISLANDUNDERCURRENT.COM Published & Printed by Black Press Ltd. at #102, 495 Government Road, Bowen Island, BC V0N 1GO




If you search for images of the first Earth Day, in 1970, you will find photos of enormous crowds equaling almost ten percent of the US population, gathered to express their support for the planet and their belief in protecting it. The photos are amazing to look at, but what’s more amazing, is that these protests made a tangible impact by way of the creation of a string of environmental protection laws. Thirty-four Earth Days later, the progress, in com-

parison to the problem, seems a pittance. Climate change is here but we’re all still burning carbon like it’s nobody’s business. While conscientious people clear debris from our beaches, massive clumps of garbage, mostly plastic, float around our oceans and get bigger by the day. So for me, Earth Day feels more like a relic than anything. Strangely, living on an island full of earth-loving folk has not inspired much hope in me either. While I do meet people who are doing things make a difference, the clearest “environmental” message I hear

is that presence of people is inherently problematic. But here I am, happy to exist among the seven million others on the planet, and three thousand others on Bowen Island. I want to feel good about the fact, to find hope in it. So in acknowledgement of Earth Day, in both its historic and present forms, I’ve asked various Bowen Islanders for their thoughts on the occasion, and how we… all of us here sucking in oxygen and blowing out C02, can contribute to the health of our planet instead of its demise. See essays on pages 6, 7 and 12.

The Write Stuff. The Undercurrent encourages reader participation in your community newspaper. You must include your full name and a daytime phone number (for verification only). The editor reserves the right to edit for clarity, legality, brevity and taste. Here’s how. To submit a letter to the editor, fax 604-947-0148 or mail it to #102, 495 Government Rd., PO Box 130, Bowen Island, BC V0N 1G0 or email editor@ B.C. Press Council. The Undercurrent is a member of the British Columbia Press Council, a self-regulatory body governing the province’s newspaper industry. The council considers complaints from the public about the conduct of member newspapers. Directors oversee the mediation of complaints, with input from both the newspaper and the complaint holder. If talking with the editor or publisher does not resolve your complaint about coverage or story treatment, you may contact the B.C. Press Council. Your written concern, with documentation, should be sent to B.C. Press Council, 201 Selby St., Nanaimo, B.C. V9R 2R2. For information, phone 1-888-687-2213 or go to

The Official Community Plan and herons Dear Editor, Last week Sue Ellen Fast wrote, "Meanwhile municipal council is amending Bowen's official community plan to re-designate the nest site in Crippen Park from park use to commercial." While Ms. Fasts' concern for the well-being of the herons is laudable, I am concerned that her interpretation is somewhat misleading. The existing wording in the OCP restricts growth to mostly developed properties or into the historic area of the Orchard Cottages in Crippen Park behind the existing businesses, and it excludes Lot 2 of the Community Lands, which is currently part of a re-zoning proposal to accommodate long-identified needs on Bowen Island including additional seniors and children's programming space, more diversity and affordability of housing for seniors and young families, a community centre, a medical clinic and office space for heath and wellness practitioners.

All Advertising and news copy content are copyright of the Undercurrent Newspaper. All editorial content submitted to the Undercurrent becomes the property of the publication. The undercurrent is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, art work and photographs. We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Periodical Fund (CPF) for our publishing activities. We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Periodical Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

#102–495 Bowen Trunk Road, PO Box 130, Bowen Island BC, V0N 1G0 Phone: 604.947.2442 Fax: 604.947.0148 Deadline for all advertising and editorial: Monday, 4:00p.m.

The revised wording in the proposed OCP amendment is: “Encourage new commercial development to locate within commercial areas within the Village Commercial designated area on Schedules C and C – 1A. Village Commercial will be allowed in: • the land to the north of the commercial properties on Bowen Island Trunk Road subject to an adequate interface with Crippen Regional Park; • the northern corners of the Miller Road/ Bowen Island Trunk Road intersection; • -the area in the vicinity of the RCMP station and house located on Miller Road; • the Davies Road area; and • the south side of Mt. Gardner Road.

qualifying language as the original wording, “subject to an adequate interface with Crippen Regional Park." It is intended to bring forward discussion as to what is more appropriate over the long-term for the growth of Snug Cove village: expansion into the historic Orchard Cottages area of Crippen Park behind the existing businesses along Government Road or across from existing businesses along Government Road to the strip of land bounded by municipal land to the west and the parking lot beside the library to the east. Should there ever be agreement with Metro Parks about future expansion into either of these areas, all regulations protecting heron nesting sites would continue to be in force. These regulations are independent of zoning.

This proposed amendment does not re-designate the nest site in Crippen Park from park use to commercial and uses precisely the same

Tim Rhodes Councillor, Bowen Island Municipality





Meribeth Deen

Maureen Sawasy

Marcus Hondro

Doug Foot

Bowen Island Undercurrent Subscription Rates: Mailed 1 year Subscription (With in Canada) $65.00, including GST Newsstand (Single Copy) 75 cents per copy, including GST 2011 CCNA



Too bad about the headline Dear Editor, Thank you for your coverage of the rezoning of Lot 2 and associated OCP changes, which will allow for a future community campus, townhomes, and apartments in the heart of Snug Cove. The headline, however -- “Opposition Comes Out in Force” -- is unfortunate. The story notes that of the roughly 60 residents who came out to the Open House, “a handful” expressed discontent. The headline-scanning reader might be mistakenly left with the impression that legions of islanders oppose this rezoning. I encourage all Bowen Islanders who want housing diversity and a

community centre -- especially those with families, like me, who do not generally attend public meetings -- to formally register their support via the public comment form in the News & Notices section on Good things come to those who speak up. James Glave

This week in Undercurrent history MAUREEN SAWASY

25 years ago in the Undercurrent • •

Congratulations to old crocs David Riddell and Bob Hamel who were tied with the lowest net score over the minimum 10 games at 341, followed closely by Bruce Russell at 343 and Wayne Johnstone just a few strokes back. In addition, Bob won the coveted Sandbagger Trophy, which as always, was not short of contestants. The first SMSG event for the season teed off on April 5th. A minimum of 10 rounds are required for this event, which is extra special, as the winner has their name engraved on the Greg Cope Old Buzzard’s Trophy, which to date has been the exclusive domain of Hugh “Doc” Freeman and Gerry “The Legend” Kirk.

• •

Bruce Russell

Lending a hand to Bowen paramedics On February 15th I had to go to hospital by ambulance because of a leg injury. I was fortunate to have the capable assistance of two Bowen ambulance attendants. Enroute, because of my interest in Caring Circle, I was curious about what we as an organization could do to support the Ambulance Service. Both attendants immediately suggested that we tell Islanders the importance of the following information: •

• •

that every householder on Island take the responsibility to make sure that their address number was readily visible on the road in front of their house. that someone come from the house to stand on the road to meet the ambulance. that the Dispatcher at the time of contact be given the cell phone number of the person who would be waiting

on the road. Throughout the trip to the hospital I felt I was in very competent hands. They arrived within 20 minutes of our call and later handled the challenges of getting my stretcher down the ramp and onto the water taxi with good grace and were reassuring on the ride over rough water. In Horseshoe Bay we were met by two North Shore attendants and all four had the difficulty of hoisting my stretcher up the ramp to the waiting ambulance. With gratitude to the ambulance attendants who were so kind and capable in their care of me, Bowen Islanders are well served by such professionals. Diane Marshall Chair, Caring Circle.

May 14th at 9am the public would have their first opportunity to view the draft proposal for the Bowen Island Community Centre. Architects Don Nicolson and Bernd Hermanski had been working hard to arrive at a no-frills layout and design that meets the needs of the island for a basic community facility. The 28,000 square foot facility would be located centrally behind the school and close to Bowen Court on acreage available from the GVRD surplus lands. After this public meeting, the proposed community centre would go to referendum later in the year. The memorial garden was officially opened by Rev. Bill Clark, chair Jacqueline Bakker and GVRD parks rep. Mitch Sokalski. The R.C.M.P. reported that on the Easter long weekend a local business in Snug Cove was broken into and a large amount of cash was stolen. Anyone with tips was urged to call the police.

15 years ago in the Undercurrent

Dear Editor

A 21 year old, 3 bedroom, 1,000 sq. ft. home for sale in Bluewater was listed at $145,000 The cartoon featured a drawing of a broken golf club with the caption ‘Crippen Golf Course – R.I.P.’

10 years ago in the Undercurrent •

20 years ago in the Undercurrent

A Sure Sign of Spring Forget the blossoms, the recent wind-up of the Bowen Island Golf Club’s Saturday Old Crocs winter competition is evidence enough the real golf season is upon us as is the commencement of the Saturday Morning Skins Game (SMSG). No club membership is required to participate in either of these Saturday morning events. Gentlemen just have to be north of fifty to play; participants must be good for 9:00 a.m. tee times and be willing to part with $5 for the skins and KP prize pot. As David Riddell so appropriately suggested at the Old Crocs windup, “I most enjoy the camaraderie, not winning the money or the fame of having my name on the trophy.” This is the feeling of everyone who enjoys these special Saturday competitions.

Audbon Cooperative Sanctuary program; developed plans to provide their own 36-day retention pond to act as the source of water for irrigation at the course and displayed that the association was focused on providing the best environmental practices which were ‘head and shoulders’ above what they had been 10-15 years ago.


Dear Editor,

FRIDAY APRIL 25 2014 • 5

For the first time in almost 10 years editorial control of The Undercurrent was back on Bowen. Edythe (Edie) Hanen, who had been working at the paper for many years as the de-facto editor, was named fulltime editor by the newspaper’s regional publisher. The Bowen Island Golf Association (BIGA) contributed an article to the paper to outline their commitment to the environment and to their sense of responsibility of being “good stewards of the land.” They had voluntarily enrolled in the

The headline on page one read, “Density is a Hot Topic in Cove planning.” In a Thursday night meeting of several of Bowen’s committees and commissions, density did indeed take centre stage. The Sustainable Community Advisory Committee expressed concern with the number of residential units allowed per acre. In the draft of the Snug Cove plan, 15, 20 and 25 units per acre had been included. The OCP allowed for up to 25 units per acre over seven and a half acres across Snug Cove. The Sustainable Advisory Committee took the position that planning for Snug Cove should take into consideration the whole island and the idea of density within the Cove did not lie within the principle of greening the island. An 1800 Sq ft, 3 bdr home on half an acre in Bluewater was listed at $448,000 (age of the house unknown).

5 years ago in the Undercurrent •

Bowen Council asked the owners of Cape Roger Curtis to put forth a new proposal for development of their land, which would fall within the current OCP and only allow for a density of up to 224 units. Co-owner Don Ho said that he respected the decision council made and understood that while the previous plan had a lot of support, the lower density plan appeared to be more favoured by the community as a whole. While disappointed with Council’s decision, Ho explained that there next step would be to undergo the subdivision process, which was on the table at 58 single-family homes on ten-acre lots.

Outside 45 says “Thank You,” to Mother Earth How to say thank you to something that can’t say you’re welcome (the earth) . Wow what an interesting and hard subject but in some ways the earth does say thank you. The earth gives us a beautiful place to live and stunning landscapes and the perfect conditions for living. But there is many ways that ways that we give back to the earth for these amazing things that the earth supply’s us with. Here are a few ways we can give back. One of the best ways to give back to the earth is the three R’s (reduce, reuse and recycle) you need to reduce on unnecessary things that can’t be recycled or reused and you can recycle to make things into something new from the old. You can also reuse by giving something old a new purpose. Some other great ways to give back is to use your compost and you get soil with your compost so you can grow food and cut down on packaging. These are some great ways to say thank you to the earth. Happy earth day. Jackson Jones, grade six

Thank you should be more than a word; it should be an action, an essence of gratitude or a way to express your feelings for something that has helped you. But many people forget to acknowledge things that cannot respond to this gratitude. A perfect example of this gratitude is our reliance on the environment; we could not go a day without relying on the environment for help. However, we rarely give back to the world for all that it has given us. Yet for one day each year, we give back. On April 22nd, we appreciate the world as a community; we thank it for its service and reliability. We live our daily life un-aware of the sacrifices needed to sustain such a pristine environment like Bowen Island. As a community, we celebrate the world one day each year, then after that day we go back to our supply and demand consumption lifestyle without regret. Hopefully earth day this year can be different. We can work together to make our world better, and teat everyday like earth day. Chole Jackson, grade seven

6 • FRIDAY APRIL 25 2014


Belt tests at Collins Hall In the spirit of Earth Day, let’s redefine our relationship with the earth


On Saturday April 19th approximately 25 brave young Taekwondo students were tested on their skills in the hopes of advancing to their next belt level. Proud parents sat in the back as the students took turns demonstrating their moves while Master Scot Strachan observed each child. Congratulations to all students who showed their stuff! Debra Stringfellow, photo

Ķsʵ Spring _ _ KayakKlubs Klubs  Ƽ ˨ˡ˥˥ SpringKayak ǣ ˅ Ǽ s ĵ ˚˨ˣ˦˚ ƼNjÞĶˡ˧˚ğȖŘsˠ˥ʹ˧ōŸŘ_ɴǣʺ May 5 - June 23 (8 Mondays) ƼNjÞĶˡ˧˚ğȖŘsˠ˥ʹ˧ōŸŘ_ɴǣʺ ˥˟ˣ


How can we contribute to the health of our planet? We could start by telling new stories about what it means to be human, to redefine our relationship with planet Earth. Why story? Because the world is not just made up of atoms, it’s also made up of stories. We fill our days with books and blogs, films and fantasies, tweets and tall tales. Everything is story. The Calendar is a story about time. The Government is a story about power. The Economy is a story about the distribution of goods and services. Stories help us understand the world and our place in it. They shape our emotions, and influence our behaviour. It’s become clear that the old stories are failing. Our stories of separation from the natural world, stories of greed and consumption do not serve us. They portray the Earth as a gigantic warehouse of all the goodies we could possibly want, and a garbage dump for the things we don’t want. Meeting human wants rather than needs has endangered the life of our planetary home, as well as our lives, and those of future generations. The time has come to embrace stories that show how deeply we are connected to the natural world, how dependent we are on the generosity of the Earth for our next breath, our next drink of water, our next meal. We need stories to warm our hearts and sometimes break them. Stories to deepen our intimacy with the Earth. When we change the story we change the behaviour.

I make my living as a storyteller. I write new stories and reframe old ones. When Paul, a scientist, told me the truth about bacteria, I knew I had to write a song. The prevailing cultural story is that bacteria are evil, lying in wait to pounce on their next victim. Yes, a few of them can kill you. But most bacteria are supporters, not killers. They are the building blocks of life. No bacteria, no life. Did you know you have ten times more bacteria cells in your body than human cells? And they’re working real hard to digest your food and keep you healthy. Watch a live performance of my Mitochondria Motel song on Youtube and you too might become a pacifist in the war against bacteria. (Full disclosure: I had pneumonia this winter and – gulp - I took antibiotics.) So keep on recycling, reusing, repairing and refusing. And tell some good stories about your connection to the land and the waters where you live. The stories we tell today determine the future for our grandchildren. This is a critical time, a potent time. We are involved in a process for which we will not see the results. It’s like planting a tree that will not reach maturity in our lifetime, one that will offer shade for the next generation. We do it for others. We do it for beauty. We do it because it’s the right thing to do. Pauline is the author of Becoming Intimate with the Earth, published by Collins Foundation Press

ĵÞǼǼĶsƻ__ĶsNjǣ˥˚˧ʹˢ˚ˣʲˠˤƼŎʺ̱ˠˢˤ ĵÞǼǼĶsƻ__ĶsNjǣ˥˚˧ʹˢ˚ˣʲˠˤƼŎʺ̱ˠˢˤ ğNjƻ__ĶsNjǣ˨˚ˠˢʹˣʲˢ˟˚˥ƼŎʺ̱ˠˣˤ ğNjƻ__ĶsNjǣ˨˚ˠˢʹˣʲˢ˟˚˥ƼŎʺ̱ˠˣˤ _ȖĶǼǣˠ˥̛ʹ˥ʲˠˤ˚˧ƼŎʺ̱ˠˤˤ _ȖĶǼǣˠ˥̛ʹ˥ʲˠˤ˚˧ƼŎʺ̱ˠˤˤ _ȖĶǼǣˠ˥̛ʹ˥ʲˠˤ˚˧ƼŎʺ̱ˠˤˤ

ǻɠŸ¯ŸNjŷŘs ǻȖsǣ_ɴǣʵ

Women’s Kayak Club ˨ˣ˦_ÞǣOŸȖŘǼ ɟs_ʳŗÞǼs ōɴ˦˚ğȖŘsˡˤʹ˧ɟs_ǣʳ˨˚ˠ˟ʲˢ˟ʳŎʺ ɠɠɠʳEŸɠsŘÞǣĶŘ_ĨɴĨÞضʳOŸŎ The Bowen Island Arts Council operates the Bowen Island Visitor Centre (BIVC) on behalf of the Bowen Island Municipality from May – September. The BIVC is situated in the Boulevard Cottage in Snug Cove, a space shared with the Caring Circle. In addition to providing tourist information and resources, the BIVC houses a small gift shop featuring local artist wares and products.

Memorial Garden Sociey AGM April 26, 2014 11:30am Bowen Court 1070 Miller rd. Everyone Welcome


The Visitor Centre Coordinator is a 35 hour per week administrative/marketing position focusing on the operation of the Visitor Centre. The VCC will take a lead role in attending to the needs of daily visitors, collect and collate visitor records and statistics, ensure the smooth operation of the gift shop, and promote and publicize local amenities, services, businesses and events via both print materials and through an online presence (website, social media, etc.). He or she must possess strong leadership, communications, interpersonal and customer service skills kill and be detail oriented with excellent time management skills. Strong computer skills and knowledge of web-based technology with an understanding of marketing and experience using an array of social marketing tools is desirable. The Visitor Centre Host position is a two-day (14 hours) per week position. The primarily role will be to attend to the needs of visitors to the island as well as administer gift shop sales, maintain records and help promote local events and activities. The VCH will possess strong customer service skills, work well in a team environment but also be comfortable working independently, and have experience in record keeping. For both positions, training or education in tourism, travel, marketing, visitor services is a definite asset as is a knowledge of Bowen Island. Must be fluent in English. A second language is also an asset. Please submit a cover letter indicating which position you are applying for and a resumé no later than Monday, April 28 to Jacqueline Massey,, or Box 211, Bowen Island, BC, V0N 1G0.

Debra Stringfellow, photo

Convenience Store Cafe (under the Pub)

Breakfast, lunch and more! Waffles, Pancakes, Oatmeal, S'mart muffin, Bagels, Hot dogs, Chili, Soup, Meat Pies, Pizza, GREAT coffee.....all self serve!

Drop in and see our new little store, say “hello” and

HAVE A COFFEE ON US WITH THIS COUPON Thanks, look forward to seeing you. Lyn and family 604-765-7983

BIAC is seeking to fill two staff positions, a Visitor Centre Coordinator and Visitor Centre Host.

Hours: 6am-4pm Mon-Fri; 9am-4pm week-ends


FRIDAY APRIL 25 2014 • 7

Let’s make every day Earth Day April’s open garden BOWEN ISLAND GARDEN CLUB SUBMISSION

The Bowen Island Garden Club’s April Open Garden will be hosted by Club President, Sheila Webster, on Sunday April 27th from 1pm to 3pm at 227 Highland Trail, off Eagle Cliff. The property is on the flank of Mount Collins with views of the North Shore Mountains to the East, and Passage Island to the South. As the land falls away steeply towards the ocean the garden, started in 2003, has been terraced to maximize the area available for planting and fenced to exclude deer. Features of the garden include: ‘trailing rockeries;’ a pond with fountain; a large

number of perennial shrubs; trees, some now entering their maturity; and a riotous ground cover of colourful smaller plants including, mascari, daffodils, heathers, aubrietias , tulips and much more! Although an experienced gardener with a formative background in South Africa, Sheila is the first to admit that gardening on Bowen Island forced her to confront unanticipated challenges. In her own words…. “Although I have been a gardener for most of my adult life, I am still learning; and coming to Canada has been a whole new learning curve for me, a constant challenge; but I love my garden and keep trying.”

Debra Stringfellow, photo


At Island Pacific School, the grade nine students have to pick a topic of interest and then research it for six months to produce a “Masterworks” that is presented, and defended, in June. When I started researching topics for my project, I was looking for issues related to Bowen. I started researching the ferry, and soon realized that our dependence on it is a big problem. High school students take the ferry more than 350 times in a year, just to get to school. So while most people on Bowen like to think of themselves as being environmentally friendly, most of us have a way bigger carbon footprint than people living in the city. So I started researching sustainability, and what it means to be sustainable on Bowen. I spoke to a lot of people who are taking action in interesting ways but focused on three main people: my neighbour Wayne Tatlow; Noah PryceJones who works at Endswell Farm; and Dave McIntosh, who runs Bowen Waste Services. Wayne Tatlow produces energy through solar panels on his house and with a windmill. He’s able to sell energy to BC Hydro and also has a really minimal electricity bill himself. Endswell Farm uses food scraps from local restaurants to feed their animals and use the

manure from their animals to fertilize their fields. The animals eat the grass on the fields, and Endswell sells their meat to Bowen Islanders and Bowen Island restaurants. Dave Macintosh has been a part of Bowen Island sustainability efforts for 18 years. His company, Bowen Island Waste Service, contributes to sustainability by operating Bowen Island’s BIRD recycling centre. This is one of the most successful recycling ventures in the GVRD. I’ve learned that a single person can make a huge impact, and that there are a lot of potential solutions. I’ve also learned that it can be really hard to implement those solutions because our laws and regulations don’t prioritize sustainability. Earth Day is one day of the year where people talk about taking action and helping the environment, but we need to change this so that Earth Day is every day. The way to do this is to make people knowledgeable about what they can do. One of the reasons I wanted to study sustainability for my Masterworks project is that I wanted to make people more aware of these problems and ultimately to make Bowen more sustainable. While Earth Day is just one day a year, the things that these people are doing--and what we can do-can make an impact for generations to come.

For news, community links, and to vote on our weekly reader poll log on

www. bowenisland undercurrent .comm .co


Tour through your closets to donate gently used and clean:

Men’s, Women’s & Teen’s clothing, shoes, accessories, jewelry, hats, scarves.....



Donations can be dropped off at BCC, 650 Carter Rd.

For donation pickup please contact Ann Silberman @604.947.9626

A peak at this month’s open garden/ Visitors should not attempt to drive up to the property. Park on Eagle Cliff and walk; or take the shuttle provided. There is a small admission fee for nonmembers. Memberships can be bought on-site. John Lawrence, photo

8 • FRIDAY APRIL 25 2014


Crowdfunding to test local waters for radioactive isotopes from PAGE 3 Tackling misinformation is the driving force behind the crowd-funding campaign to get citizen scientists on the Pacific coast of North America to collect ocean-water samples to be analyzed for testing. Ken Buesseler, a marine chemist with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute is behind the campaign. “There is a historical precedent of authorities being dismissive about concerns over radioactive materials, so fears about the transparency of TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company) are not unfounded,” says Buesseler. “At the same time, it is an opportunity for people with an anti-nuclear agenda to says that when things go wrong they go very wrong, and its not that I disagree with that, but saying that because of this meltdown the entire Pacific is ruined forever is a very different thing.” Buesseler adds that it is his personal belief that a lack of information feeds people’s fears and the growth of conspiracy theories. “I know of one scientist doing radiation testing in Canadian waters,” says Buesseler, “But in the US this kind of testing falls through the cracks entirely. The NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) studies oceans but doesn’t touch anything to do with radiation or nuclear energy. The Department of Energy studies radiation, but not doesn’t do testing in the ocean. I know of some state agencies along the coast that have done some testing, but their results indicate that their methods and the equipment they use are not specialized enough to yield results that we can learn from.” Buesseler’s campaign, called “Our

Radioactive Ocean,” encourages concerned (or curious) people living to raise $600 for the purpose of testing local waters. Once they’ve reached their target and sent it to the Woods Hole Institute, they will be sent a kit that includes a container with a thermometer inside that measures the exact temperature of the water at the time of sampling. The “citizen scientist” then sends sample back to the Woods Hole Institute for testing. So far, people at twenty-one locations have started crowd funding to purchase sample kits. Five of those locations are in British Columbia. The Woods Hole Institute tested its first samples from this campaign, sent in from Point Reyes, California, and two locations in Washington, in January. Water samples from these locations show no trace of radioactive isotopes from Fukushima. The Cesium isotopes that were detected in the samples were present prior to the 2011 meltdown, and are attributed to nuclear weapons testing conducted in the Pacific in the 1950s. So far, Michael Chapman has raised $250 towards the testing of Bowen Island’s coastal waters. The Whytcliff Park crowdfunding campaign for Our Radioactive Ocean has raised $320. Ken Buesseler says regardless of what results of these tests yield, he would like to see testing continue for at least three next three years. “Saying the leak is ‘under control,’ I don’t really like that term, but the leak of radioactive materials from Fukushima is continuing at a much lower level than at the time of the initial meltdown,” says Buesseler. “There can be no absolute

promise of safety until the whole mess is cleaned-up, and that could take decades, but we can expect the levels of cesium on our coast, coming from Fukushima, to drop off entirely within a few years.” Buesseler says that with the results of some crowdsourcing tests coming in, he feels there the crowdsourcing project has already made an impact. “We know now, for example, that we can’t blame sea-star die-offs on radioactive isotopes from Fukushima, because they aren’t there,” says Buesseler. “I hope that these tests help the public understand that there was already Cesium in our ocean prior to the Fukushima meltdown. Getting people educated about the radioactive world we live in will hopefully help them put their fears into perspective.” For more information, check out: From the Woods Hole Institute’s FAQ about Radiation from Fukushima:

What has been released from the Fukushima reactors and how dangerous is it? So far, we know that releases from the Fukushima reactors have been primarily composed of two radioactive substances: iodine-131 and cesium-137. In large doses, both of these isotopes or radionuclides, as they are called, can cause long-term health problems.

Levels of any Fukushima contaminants in the ocean will be many thousands of times lower after they mix across the Pacific and arrive on the West Coast of North America in 2014. This is not to say that we should not be concerned about additional sources of radioactivity in the ocean above the natural sources, but at the levels expected even short distances from Japan, the Pacific will be safe for boating, swimming, etc.

Are fish such as tuna that might have been exposed to radiation from Fukushima safe to eat? Seawater everywhere contains many naturally occurring radionuclides, the most common being polonium-210. As a result, fish caught in the Pacific and elsewhere already have measurable quantities of these substances. Most fish do not migrate far from home, which is why fisheries off Fukushima remain closed. But some species, such as the Pacific bluefin tuna, can swim long distances and could pick up cesium in their feeding grounds off Japan. However, cesium is a salt taken up by the flesh that will begin to flush out of an exposed fish soon after they enter waters less affected by Fukushima. By the time tuna are caught in the eastern Pacific, cesium levels in their flesh are 10-20 times lower than when they were off Fukushima. Moreover, the dose from Fukushima cesium is considered insignificant relative to the dose from naturally occurring polonium-210, which was 1000 times higher in fish samples studied, and both of these are much lower relative to other, more common sources, such as dental x-rays.

Will radiation be of concern along U.S. and Canadian coasts?

Share a Ride Get involved in ride sharing to destinations on and off-island

B.C. Licenced Home Inspector Courses Registration is now open for the above series of online courses leading to licensing as a Home Inspector in British Columbia. and check us out on Facebook

Bowen LIFT

Linking Islanders through Friendly Transportation

Contact a program adviser at (604) 899-0803 or register online at


Time to get off the slopes and on the water

FRIDAY APRIL 25 2014 • 9


Ninety-nine percent of everything is just showing up! So… for all you toe-tappers and wanna be dancers, it’s time to get out and show up for swing lessons at the Gallery at Artisan Square on Monday Nights starting on April 28th. Instructor Pamela Podmoroff of will lead the classes every Monday night from 7:00 pm –8:30 pm through until June 2 (no class May 19th). $71.66 gets you five of our new 1.5 hour classes! So what are you waiting

for? Be ready for Steamship days, and all the other summer opportunities to get out and get swinging. You do not need a partner, but you do need to show up! Bowen Island Community Recreation would also like to congratulate Jennifer Pardee and Kerry Platt for winning the “Sneak It In” draw and thank all of you who participated the week of April 7-11! REMINDER: Swim lotto forms are available from the Recreation office or online and due back April 28th. Call 604-947-2216 for more information or


IPS students enjoy a first paddle of the season with Bowen Island Sea Kayaking. Susan Swift, photo


With spring in the air and ski season coming to a close what better way to embrace the warmer weather than to get back on the water for a nice calming paddle. Bowen Island Sea Kayaking (BISK) is offering a lineup of spring lessons for both kids and adults, an ideal opportunity for all levels of experience to learn more about kayaking. Whether you are training for the Round Bowen Challenge or just wanting to get started with the sport, BISK can help set you up for success. Every Monday starting on April 28 and running through till June 16, lessons will be available for both kids and adults. Children ages 6 to 8yrs (Little Paddlers) will kayak from 3:00pm to 4:15pm and kids ages 9 to 13 yrs (Jr. Paddlers) will get on the water from 4:30 to 6:30pm. They will enjoy time on the water, learn safety techniques and the proper way to paddle while gaining confidence with their kayak. Adults (16 yrs and up) can also join in with a nice evening paddle from 6:15 to 8:00pm. All lessons include kayak rental, PDF and safety equip-

Don’t forget to add the

FOOD BANK as a regular item to your grocery list

ment, all you need to bring is some water and a snack. Just in time for Mother’s day, starting May 7th and running to June 25th every Wednesday morning BISK will offer lessons to women from 9:00 to 10:30am. A fantastic way to start the day and get fit before the summer beach scene strikes Bowen. BISK can also help you celebrate your birthday or special occasion in style. “We have lots of opportunities to have a party on the water,” says Brent O’Malley the new owner and operator of BISK. Parties last for an hour and a half and include all the essential equipment to kayak along with an experienced instructor. Summer break is just around the corner and BISK will be offering four weeks of full and half day camps. Some kids reverse commute to participate in these camps so they tend to fill up fast. So, don’t wait too long to sign up. For more information call 604 947-9266 or visit their website at

The Gabriola Commons: A Harmony of Land, People and Ideas A short stroll beyond Gabriola Island’s village core takes you to the heart of a 26 acre parcel of land: a meeting place where the community is building a tangible source of ecological and cultural well-being. The continuing evolution of the Commons is a story that is written in daily increments by the community itself, assisted by a Charter, a faith in self-governance and a mandate of sustainability. Celebrating the stewardship of this landscape, which includes community gardens, meadows, cedar groves, and wetlands are a network of teams that practice inclusive and decentralized decision-making. Multiple land uses abound; hay scything field, agricultural fairs, a labyrinth made of stones, a community kitchen, and areas to test heritage varieties of crops. Imogen Whyte, a recent transplant from Gabriola Island to Bowen Island, will be the BI Garden Club’s guest speaker for April. Her presentation will explore the origins of the Commons, its successful principles of governance and future aspirations. A slide show will include images that express the vibrancy and color of this unique and inspiring community endeavour.

Drop off located at The United Church

Please join us on April 28 at 1:00 PM at The Gallery in Artisan Square. Everyone is welcome.

SUMMER READING CLUB COORDINATOR Bowen Island Public Library is hiring a Summer Reading Club Coordinator to plan, prepare and run a weekly reading program for children ages 5 to 12 and to monitor a web-based teen reading club. The position is for 35 hours per week for 12 weeks starting June 3, 2014. Wage rate is $14.00/hr. More details are available at

DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS IS MAY 4, 2013 Resumes should be emailed to, or can be mailed or dropped off to 430 Bowen Trunk Rd., P.O. Box 10, Bowen Island, B.C. V0N 1G0. For more information contact Tina or Sue at 947-9788. We thank all applicants, however only those chosen for an interview will be contacted. *Under the terms of a federal grant, this position is only open to students returning to full time studies in September 2013. R E Q U E S T F O R Q U O TAT I O N



Bowen Island Municipality is requesting quotes for the provision of ditching. The work will involve the supply of a capable and well maintained rubber tracked mini excavator that will be used for ditching maintenance in various locations within Bowen Island Municipality. RFQ details are available at the Municipal Hall or alternatively can be downloaded from notices. Please submit your Quote in person or by email to Rachel Pryce-Jones at by 4:00PM Thursday, 15 May 2014. Technical inquiries should be directed to Mr. Kevin Toews, Public Works Department of the Bowen Island Municipality, tel. (604) 970-9074. Public Works Bowen Island Municipality 981 Artisan Lane Bowen Island, BC V0N 1G2


10 • FRIDAY APRIL 25 2014


On the Calendar SATURDAY, cont’d


Youth Centre drop-in 6pm - 9pm ages 12+

Memorial Garden AGM Bowen Court, 11:30am

AA Meeting Collins Hall 7:15

Dinner at the Legion 5pm open, 6:30pm dinner



Easter Sunday Sunrise Service Sandy Beach 7:30am

Knitting Circle 2 - 5pm at Collins Hall All levels welcome



Bowen Island Men’s Fastpitch League opening day. First game starts at noon.

Bowen Island Montessori School Kid and Kaboodle Sale 10am-1pm. $2 for adults, children free


Drop off located at The United Church

HEALTH & WELLNESS Dr. Susanne Schloegl M.D. Open Mon. Wed. Thurs. Fri.


Call for an appointment Artisan Square

Natural Family Medicine




Diana Romer MEd, RCC

Dr. Gloria Chao

595B Artisan Lane Tuesdays Call for an appointment

(778) 828-5681

COUNSELLING THERAPIST Bowen and West Van offices


Bowen Island Black Sheep practice 7:30 – 9pm at the Bowen Legion

THURSDAY MAY 1 Youth Centre 6pm - 9pm Jam night - All levels welcome

Family Dentist Artisan Square • 604-947-0734 Alternate Fridays 10am-4:30pm Horseshoe Bay • 604-921-8522


Dr. Traditional Chinese Medicine/Acupuncturist u


Registered Massage Therapist (Available Mondays through Fridays)



Registered Physiotherapist u


Registered Massage Therapist

“Some people think that selling coffee is a license to print money, but it’s not. It is hard, hard work, and a way of life more than anything. What the Cove needs is more residential land, more people, not another coffee shop.” Shahzad Mirsaeidi, co-owner of Cates Pharmacy, says she is not particularly concerned about competition, but is curious about potential opportunities that might open up in a new building. “We are very happy where we are right now in Village Square,” says Mirsaeidi. “There is a lot of traffic through here, it is a good location, but we pay very high rent. If there were new retail space made available and we might be able to own our own place, that is something we would be interested in.” How Lot 2 would actually be developed if the proposed rezoning is passed, is yet to be determined. “By zoning here to include commercial retail space, we are really just creating options,” says McLeod. “It gives a potential developer or purchaser of the property options with which to come up with a plan for the area, and once they come up with that plan it would go to council and the public would have a say in whether the plan seemed suitable or not for the community.” McLeod says that while the proposed zoning for two parts of Lot 2 (one which would house the Community Campus, and the other which could accommodate a medical centre and apartments) includes commercial designation, that designation is secondary in both cases. “A commercial establishment would have to be secondary, and would have to service the other spaces in the building. So in a community centre, there

Brannon BBrothers


roofing & sheet metal

6:45 - 9:00 A.M.



Massage | Energy Healing —— T H U R S D A Y S ——


might be a place to purchase a drink, for example.” Colleen O’Neil, with the Caring Circle, says the idea of having retail space attached to a medical centre facility is a well-researched concept. “In our early conversations about a medical centre, we looked at various other models around the province. On Gabriola for instance, they have their medical clinic on the main floor and allied medical services on the ground floor, paying rent to help support the operations of the medical centre,” says O’Neil. “If we had private health and wellness practitioners on the ground floor, that would require commercial zoning. The upside is that we could have many of our health and wellness practitioners working in close proximity, enabling easy consultation with each other, and easy for clients to access the care they need in one community owned space. Imagine seeing your doctor then have your physiotherapy appointment or your podiatrist right there. Then you could head across the street to fill your prescriptions, and off to the Village Baker for a cake and coffee!” Of course, at this stage, such a scenario is purely theoretical. Don Youngson was on one of the committees that brainstormed the idea of a “community campus,” he is also a former building project manager and president of the West Vancouver Chamber of Commerce. “Any proposal will have to be a win-win for the people and the businesses on Bowen otherwise it will be dismissed in no-time,” says Youngson. “Our economy is too fragile to be jeopardized by a poorly planned concept, and that’s something that any successful development will be cognizant of.”


(Available Thursdays through Sundays)


To advertise on the Health Page call 604-947-2442

Commercial zoning on community lands from PAGE 1

as a regular item to your grocery list

Dr. Tracy Leach, D.C.

Chi Kung Lessons with Denise Richards

May 10th -Bowen Nature Club outing to Reifel Bird Sanctuary. bowennatureclub@

Swing Dancing 7pm - 8:30, to June 2

Don’t forget to add the

596 B. Artisan Square

Meditation at the Gallery at Artisan Square, 5:30 - 7pm

S.K.Y. (Seniors Keeping Young) 9:00 to 10:30 am: Stretching & Exercises 10:30-10:45 am: Singing w. Rob Wall 11:00 to 12 noon: Dr. George Langford will explore “Staying Young: Truth or Fiction?” Refreshments served, Everyone welcome.

Crippen Stewardship Weed Warriors Meet by the bridge at the mouth of Davie’s Creek. Everyone welcome. Tools and gloves provided. 10:00a.m. - 1:00p.m.

Naturopathic Physician

Women’s Kayak Club Starts May 7 - Wednesdays between 9 and 10:30am - see www.bowenislandkayaking. com


Youth Centre drop-in 6pm - 9pm ages 12+

Dr. Dana Barton

Spring Kayak Klubs (for kids) Starts May 5 see


Vegetarian Potluck 1755 Emily Lane in King Edward Bay

Bowen Waste Free Paint Recycling and Hazardous Waste Day 9am - 3pm, Bowen Building Centre


Call Mike at

Ian Cameron Musician Guitar/Bass

To Advertise on the Bulletin Board, Call 604-947-2442

Local • Professional • Reliable

“Handyman Services” Quality repairs, reno’s, carpentry or maintenance for: Home • Yard • Property

Chris Weyler The “Handy Man” Can!! D-136 Bowen Island, BC V0N 1G0 604-947-2501


FRIDAY APRIL 25 2014 • 11

12 • FRIDAY APRIL 25 2014


Earth Day 2014: Time for a new story

Stewards of the Earth, and Mother Bowen STACY BEAMER ARTIST

Debra Stringfellow, photo


In his celebrated 2003 Massey Lectures, First Nations writer Thomas King told us “The truth about stories is that’s all we are”. If he’s right, it’s no wonder that those who deny the story of our culture are vilified. Our now-global civilization culture’s story began as the mostly Judeo-Christian story of our fall from grace to a life of struggle, and it has brought us resource exhaustion, looming economic collapse, runaway climate change, species extinction, endless cycles of war, violence, suffering, disease, trauma, personal exhaustion, poverty, distrust, cynicism, and despair. Yet still we cling to it. It is the only story we know, and drives how we live, what we believe, and everything we do. Everything we read, hear and see reinforces it. Perhaps Earth Day could give us the courage to recognize that our story is a story of illusion and disaster, and to start to craft and offer a new one. The first step might be to give up our denial that something will rescue us from the precipice we now stand upon, all of us on this tiny, fragile Spaceship Earth. Denial that we can expect rescue from better leaders, or better technology, or a sudden upswell of coordinated global consciousness, or better laws or freer markets or a second coming. In his book Requiem for a Species, Clive Hamilton says his extensive study of the latest climate science research has led him to this conclusion: We now have no chance of preventing emissions rising well above a number of critical tipping points that will spark uncontrollable climate change. The Earth’s climate [will now] enter a chaotic era lasting thousands of years before natural processes even-

tually establish some sort of equilibrium. Whether human beings [will] still be a force on the planet, or even survive, is a moot point. One thing seems certain: there will be far fewer of us. If your response to reading this is anger, or disbelief, or fear, that’s understandable. Like many climate scientists, economists, and students of our culture, Clive is starting to tell a new, and heretical, story, one that flies in the face of all we believe, and hope. Beyond the denial that our culture can be ‘rescued’, is only, now, the terrifying acceptance that within, at least, the lives of our children, the affluent, industrial world most of us have known for two centuries will be gone, and we have no idea what will, or can replace it. What can help us move past this denial is a new story, one that will bring clarity and hope to what we must now face, and what the extraordinary legacy for future generations will be if we do so courageously and intelligently. That story is ours to write. It will begin when we learn about what happens when (not if) runaway climate change occurs, when an economy collapses permanently, and when a society’s accessible, affordable resources run out. These are world-changing events, but they’re not unprecedented and they’re not “the end of the world”. Like a patient diagnosed with a life-altering disease, once we’ve learned and accepted the facts, we can start planning for what we will likely face and shift to a new way of living. Many patients receiving such news say it was the best thing that ever happened to them, that learning about the unsustainability of their ‘old’ way of life has led them to a joyous transformation to a new and more meaningful life.

For me, Earth Day began like every other: I pinched myself to ensure I wasn’t dreaming and gave thanks for being here, living, working and raising a family in one of the safest and healthiest communities on the planet. I look at that blessing every day and recognize that with it should come an obligation to truly respect and understand this community and its environment. To help try to figure out how to leverage the opportunities, intense desire and boundless human capital we have available here to actually make a difference in the world. On Earth Day, and every day in between, we can recognize how truly blessed we are and choose to lead by example instead of just talking about it... endlessly. I fell into the arms of mother Bowen in the late nineties, in the midst of the “Great Incorporation” debate. It was a decision I supported then and still do today. The question was simple: who are the best stewards of the lands, us or them? I believe in my heart that we are the best stewards of this island. It's our nest, after all. We all want to be good citizens of Bowen, but in that we have battled each other for decades over what that means. Through all this, life has gone on, and our island has changed and not always for the better. After these decades of environmental battles, are we actually living cleaner, greener lives? According to the Pembina Institute, we are amongst the worst polluters in the province. How can that be ok?

Doing nothing is not a neutral choice in a rapidly changing world that desperately needs humanity to step-up and take action. Before taking action here on Bowen, let’s all of us, as a community, take a long hard look in the mirror and own up to our past mistakes - it’s the only way we can prevent falling into the same old traps, over and over again. For years, our community has lived in abject fear of things like short sighted development plans and of becoming a rich persons playground. Sadly, I think that we are manifesting our worst fears. I was an alcoholic for years. I quit 15 years ago. To do that I had to look in the mirror and own that I was the master of my own successes and failures. I was not a victim. It hurt, bad, to face the fact that I had had it wrong all those years and that the only threats I faced were internal, not external. And what a challenge it was, to move forward without wallowing in regrets over my past choices. It was worth it. I set myself free and radically altered my view of the world and its potential. In many ways Bowen needs to do the same. We have been drunk with our collective victim story and massive egos for many years and need to stand up and look in the mirror. As we move forward from this we must find peace and with compassion for each other. Like I said, it's going to hurt a bit but we can get there. And maybe, just maybe, the earth will be better for it. On Earth Day 2014 I declare my love for Mother Bowen and all it's people.

Meribeth Deen, photo


presents their


Bowen Island Communit y Choir


NEW MENU ITEM RIBS OF PARADISE Delicious seasoned ribs with smoky dipping BBQ Sauce

No buns about it they’re gluten free Juicy Burgers, BLT’s, Smokin’ Smokies, All Beef Jumbo dogs, Delicious Veggie Burgers and Dogs with special sesame teriyaki sauce, Fried Onions, Real Cheddar Cheese, Slush puppies!

Tickets at Cates Pharmacy or Door Adults $15, Seniors/Students $12, Children 6-12 $5

Director: Ellen MacIntosh; Accompanist: Sheilagh Sparks Special Guests: Brian Hoover, Percussion; Shasta Martinuk, Flutist Soloists: Earl Jenkins, Rob Cairns




Brendan 778-995-1902



Friday April 25, 2014  

Friday April 25, 2014 issue of the Bowen Island Undercurrent