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GULF ISLANDS DRIFTWOOD | WEDNESDAY, MARCH 24, 2010 | C55

50 YEARS OF COMMUNITY

Sometimes we want to have a little fun (and we do) Over the years, the Driftwood editorial department has had a little fun. For a period of time, staff delighted in making “mock” front pages for different islanders, like pharmacist Les Ramsey, RCMP officer Gerard Choquette, a few firefighters and Driftwood staff. The page looks like a Driftwood front, but the stories — told in an authoritative journalistic voice — are all made up and humourous. While copies of these mock front pages were

handed out to relevant people, the Driftwood was never able to go public with them. So, in 1998, staff members were gleeful to discover April Fool’s Day landed on a Wednesday. Amid much chortling, they eagerly created mock stories to fill pages 1 and 2 of the Driftwood. Of course, not everyone realized the stories were fake . . . . Following is a sample of the stories written for that April 1, 1998 edition.

Carousing seniors trash home A Brinkworthy home is in shambles and the owners enraged after a group of carousing seniors crashed a quiet party Saturday night, overturning flower pots, scrambling board games and launching a game of carpet bowling in the living room. Police are hoping that a set of false teeth, discovered in a flower bed outside the home, will lead to at least one of the perpetrators. In the meantime, homeowners Burt and Edith Alden are stunned by the damage which they claim will take weeks to mop up. Most devastating to Edith Alden is the destruction in her kitchen where party-goers dumped tea canisters and spice containers over counters and on the floor. Edith believes at least one senior mistook a jar of dried mint for a pot stash — she found several half-smoked “joints” among the rubble.

Other damage included dented and broken furniture in the living room, where a bowling ball was let loose with apparent force; tea stains on a couch, pastries crushed into the carpet and a collection of board games dumped in a corner. Police say one party-goer apparently missed the front door when he left, smashing a side window with a walker. Missing from the home is a set of silver spoons, a deck of girlie playing cards and a handknitted tea cosy. Edith Alden told the Driftwood she invited a few friends over to play cards, drink tea and share a little sherry early Saturday evening, after her husband, an Old Age Pensioners Organization (OAPO) delegate, left for a provincial meeting. “We just wanted a quiet evening with a little girl talk and maybe some amaretto in our tea,” Edith said. “But I guess the word got out.” Seniors started arriving in

droves just after 8 p.m. “At first I thought I could handle them — even the carpet bowling didn’t seem like such a bad idea.” The party dissipated quickly once police arrived just before midnight. Several agile seniors slipped out through a bedroom window; however, one individual who solicited help to push a wheelchair through the opening was unsuccessful and apparently exited via a back door. Although police have interviewed several Brinkworthy residents, none appear to be missing teeth, and no one is pointing any fingers at who may have caused the damage or taken the stolen the goods. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Salt Spring RCMP detachment. Meanwhile, the Aldens are left with the labourious task of picking up the pieces of their home and wondering if they should sell their remaining mint leaves to cover the costs.

Voracious beetle returns to island A beetle with a 70-year hibernation cycle returns this spring to threaten island gardens, according to Environment Canada. Known colloquially as the Rip Van Winkle, the Dormus Coleoptera is black with gray wings and has a greenish abdomen and thorax. It measures an average of two centimetres across. The beetle is found throughout the Gulf Islands and is reportedly a voracious eater. In 1928, the Ministry of Agriculture received reports of significant damage to the roots of garden vegetables, flowers and fruit trees. In order to protect plants, Environment Canada is recommending the roots be wrapped in tinfoil before planting. The beetles are also reported to be very fond of the fishnet with which many islanders protect their gardens against deer. For this year only, Environment Canada suggests replacing the fishnet with electrified wire fences.

Even then-columnist Briony Penn got in on the April 1 action, drawing a sketch of Halfmoon Island, which a Driftwood story claimed had been purchased by the Islands Trust Fund.

Newspaper price to be $1.50 Some Driftwood readers complained they were given no warning the last time the newspaper’s newsstand and subscription prices went up. So publisher Tony Richards is giving advance notice of the next increase. That will take place next week when the single-copy price rises to $1.50.

Richards said in an interview from his vacation home in Mexico that readers would be getting a bargain at $2, a price he expects to begin charging some time next year. Richards spends a lot of time in Mexico following his purchase of a home near that of former Canadian Senator Andrew Thompson.

New RCMP building opens: drive-through breathalyzer Traffic snarl-ups have become commonplace since the completion of the new RCMP building in Ganges. The latest occurred Monday when five tour buses attempted parking in front the building to allow their passengers a chance to stop and take photographs. But it’s not just visitors who have been captivated by the unique design and colour scheme of the facility. A publishing firm has produced a new series of full-colour postcards that depict the building from different angles. And members of the local painters’ guild last week used one of their regular outings to set up their easels on the roadside in front of the building to capture its lines on canvas. The Islands Trust reports that several developers have amended development plans to introduce some of the new building’s special features into their own projects.

In other news: • Local Legion members have mixed feelings about their new neighbours, Salt Spring RCMP, particularly since the new drive-through breathalyzer opened on the weekend. According to one report, an RCMP officer spent several hours on the corner of Blain Road directing traffic from the Legion into the testing facility. Motorists simply drive up to a device, not unlike the ordering terminal at a McDonald’s restaurant. Instead of placing a burger order, a driver takes a plastic hose from the device, blows into it and drives on through. Drivers who are impaired have a photo taken before they leave (by a camera similar to those used for photo radar). The surprise summons arrives in the mail about a month later.

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ISLANDERS SERVING ISLANDERS SINCE 1984 OPEN DAILY 8AM-9PM handed out to relevant people, the Driftwood was never able to go public with them...

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