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Letters The Community Christmas Wish List More than projects which will require a further burden on the Ladysmith treasury -- sending our town fathers out looking for handouts to finance them “Ladysmith desperately needs a governing town body with lots of imagination and ambition” to exploit the long list of town assets we have. For example put the R.V. park back into operation so the huge numbers of recreation vehicles that pass our doors every year have a place to park. This would bring new money into Ladysmith along with vitality for our businesses on 1st Ave. We need a mayor and councillors that make the development of our harbour lands and harbour the most important item on the agenda. This should include a very active group of retired Ladysmith business people that have past experience with this type of development and the contacts to get the whole thing going. Ladysmith has past studies and ideas galore but no real action to carry out the project. The citizens of Ladysmith were asked what they would like done at the water’s edge and were clear about what that was when the Lanark planning meetings were held two years ago. It is now time to employ the services of a planning officer and an engineer to put something together that can be presented to the Ladysmith citizens. We have a VERY BRIGHT jewel in the possibilities of our harbour let’s get the ball rolling and re-vitalize our town. Hiring a development officer to try and encourage new businesses to locate in Ladysmith is a HUGE waste of time and money unless the foregoing is carried out first. Then we would have an encouraging feature that would bring us new businesses. - Don Harrison Since money is no object I would like to see an amusement park. Maybe a zoo, a large multi-use theatre/arena for concerts, shows like ‘walking with the dinosaurs’, ‘cirque du soleil’ etc. a facility large enough to host national sports tournaments i.e. hockey, football, etc., a place for rodeos maybe and petting farms. The sky is the limit. We are tired of travelling far to amuse the kids with the big city stuff; bring some of the big city to Ladysmith. If all these ideas fail, a lot more affordable housing was my next idea. And make it available to anyone please. People are



really selective about their places for rent. - D. Daniels This was a great idea for an article with great results. Thanks for the creativity. - Tom Irwin, Executive Director, Ladysmith Maritime Society

25th Festival of Lights Congratulations to the Festival of Lights Committee and all of the volunteers who made the 25th anniversary such a success – a beautiful sight over the holiday season, and a boost to the local economy. The Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 171, was overwhelmed by the response to our first Light Up Ukrainian dinner. We were unsure how it would be received, but can assure you from the support, we will be back next year. There were some glitches, and we regret we were unable to supply dinners for all who were patiently waiting. We have made a list of ways to improve, and are looking forward to next year. Thanks for your support. - Jeanne Seney, Ladysmith Ways & Means Coordinator, Royal Canadian Legion #171

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New Life for Travellers Hotel Back in 1956 or 1957 two locals from The Travellers made a bet on the World Series. The loser had to wheel the winner down First Avenue in a wheelbarrow. Of course, when they reached the Travs, the wheelbarrow made a sharp left turn and went through the men’s entrance to the bar. A pit stop was made and then the journey continued out the ladies’ entrance and down the street. I’m not sure if any other bars were on the itinerary, but a good time was had by all who observed this event. The two guys, I believe, were Arnie Hill and Al Johnson. - Andy Bloomfield

Directors’ Notes - Area A Thank you RDN Area A Director Alec McPherson for clearly outlining the tax requisitions for Area A residents in the Dec-Jan/TAKE 5. - Brian Collen

Sailing San Francisco Read your wonderful sailing article in the Dec/Jan13/ TAKE 5 chronicling your trip from Ladysmith to San Francisco. Very well done! Hope you have anoth-

Bonnie Erickson, Eileen Gyger and Shannon Langevin enjoying light up. My 25th time and Bonnie and Shannon’s first. Great night - beautiful display of fireworks and the Festival of Lights outdid themselves this year with the lights and parade. - submitted by Eileen Gyger

er great sailing adventure (and warmer weather & water) as you head south. - Bill Tanner Ed Note: I recently returned from 34 days aboard the Ladysmith based sailboat Maiatla as we sailed from San Diego to Los Cabos. Check out photos on

Letters on suites In response to the article written by Cathy Gilroy titled “Consultation process on suites” in the Dec/Jan/13/TAKE 5 I felt that it would be appropriate for me to chime in on the issue. I live next to the controversial “garage” and lost my harbour view and privacy due to the approval by town staff to allow this 27 foot, 1800 square foot “garage” that includes a couple of bedrooms, a full kitchen, living room, cable etc. I was the guy who in protest screwed a sign to my fence in disgust. It took the Town only one week to make me take my sign down from my fence as I was threatened with fines. Yet it is over two years and the town still does nothing to enforce its bylaws. Checkout “Special Treatment for Friends of Town Council” on facebook - Aaron Lafontaine Letters to the Editor are welcome but subject to space and editing. Letters do not necessarily reflect the opinion of TAKE 5. email, or post at




“Wishing for you good health and happiness.” Many of us will often send birthday card wishes, or New Year’s greetings, with thoughtful, sincere phrases such as “Wishing for you Good Health”. We know how important good health is when it comes to enjoying all life has to offer and how chronic poor health can take so much joy away from an individual and their family. If only such wishes of well-being could truly be the preventive medicine that we desire. Too often we have also associated good health with ready access to the best health care services. How often have we anguished over the number of hospital beds available in our community or the length of a wait list for a surgical procedure? The Honourable Roy Romanow, Head of the Royal Commission on the Future of Health Care in 2004 wrote: “A health care system – even the best health care system in the world – will be only one of the ingredients that determine whether your life will be long or short, healthy

or sick, full of fulfillment, or empty with despair.” Unfortunately, our society continues to associate good health with the availability of health care services. Our society’s expectation for access to immediate intervention and the very best of medical technology has become insatiable and also financially unsustainable. So what does determine your good health? The World Health Organization and Public Health Canada have long recognized that the primary factors that shape our health are not medical treatments but rather our living conditions. However, many Canadians are unaware that our health is determined by a host of fac-

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tors including income, employment, and education. These factors are “the social determinants of health” and many are within our ability to change and improve, both individually and collaboratively within our community and region. The determinants of health as defined on the Public Health Agency of Canada website ( are: 1.Income and Social Status 2.Social Support Networks 3.Education and Literacy 4.Employment/Working Conditions 5.Well-Being/Social Environments 6.Physical Environments 7.Personal Health Practices / Coping Skills 8.Healthy Child Development 9.Biology and Genetic Endowment 10.Health Services 11.Gender 12.Culture A Community Intervention towards Good Health – The Cowichan Communities Health Network (CCHN) The Cowichan Region stretches from Valdes Island in the east to the mouth of the Nitinat in the west, and from the Malahat in the south to North Oyster in the north. We consist of eight First Nations, four municipalities, and nine Electoral Areas with a total population of 82,000. Community Health Profiles, readily available on-line, indicate that the health of the citizen in the Cowichan Communities is poorer than the rest of the residents within VIHA and/or B.C. We can improve the health of our citizens. In 2009, the Cowichan Communities Health Network (CCHN) was established out of the crisis over the closure of the Cowichan Lodge, an extended care facility in North Cowichan. Ironically, a poor decision over immediate health services resulted in an organization whose primary concern is raising awareness, educating, and facilitating action on the all determinants of health within our communities. For information on the CCHN or the determinants of health and how you can get involved please check out the Cowichan Communities Health Network at . Our good health is a collective responsibility.




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BY MARINA SACHT Lois Walkling is enthusiastic about the aquatics programs at the Frank Jameson Community Centre (FJCC). It’s the perfect exercise – we have programs ranging from swimming laps to aquafit classes, says Lois who is the aquatics programmer at the FJCC. Exercising in the water has advantages. The water resistance is like exercising with weights but safer. At chest depth you are only 10 % of your weight. That means that because of the buoyancy exercise in water reduces stress on your joints and muscles. The cool water also keeps you from overheating as well as it’s less fatiguing. But remember - drinking water is just as important in the water as on land. The benefits are many: cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, flexibility, coordination, agility, and balance. And then there is the social aspect of it. Lois shows me the Nifty Fifties class which is underway. It’s a big group and obviously well attended. “Fifteen regulars are away right now, she tells me – off on a cruise. The social aspects are beneficial. you’ll find your mood improves while you relieve stress. Many friendships have sur-

Nifty Fifties class at the Frank Jameson Community Centre. Improve you fitness and socialize in this popular one hour class. Photo: Marina Sacht

faced in the pool. Lois who has been at the FJCC for over 18 years says she’s seen changes. “There’s more fitness orientated people emerging. They realize we have to keep going or we will be in a lot of trouble.” The last two years she has seen huge increases in the morning and evening Aquafit classes. Also very popular is the Adaptive Fitness for those with arthritis or other mobility limitations. Last fall they introduced Restorative Aquatic Fitness Therapy – an entry level adaptive fitness class geared to those

with advanced mobility and weight bearing issues. Aquatics is good for all ages and levels. And the pay off is sitting in the sauna or hot tub afterward -- socializing. Sue Glenn, fitness programmer at FJCC takes a drier approach. “We’re always looking to reach out and meet the needs of everyone” She’s always got her ears open for new program opportunities and partnerships. They recently partnered with CFN on a series of health and fitness classes at the




health centre. Another example is the Times Colonist 10 K Run. “We have over 30 people in our Walk & Run program training to do the run on April 28,” says Sue. Programs such as that are the direct result of community involvement. “People are interested,” adds Tiffany Chapman, a fitness team member. “And it’s nice to be affiliated with a local event that draws 14,000 runners.” Other events that Ladysmith Parks, Recreation and Culture staff assist in is the Cinnamon Fun Run started about 8 years ago. “We help behind the scenes.” And, recently, the Cycle-X a 2 km obstacle course at Transfer Beach Ladysmith, now part of the circuit. “We think it’s important to be out and about. Sometimes there’s a barrier through transportation.” says Sue. They go where they are needed. The new program SteadyFeet is a partnership between Ladysmith Parks, Recreation and Culture and the physiotherapists at Ladysmith Health Centre. SteadyFeet helps individuals maintain independence after a stroke or injury. “The key to a successful fitness program is to have fun,” says Tiffany. “If you like biking then spinning classes may be for you. If you like to work alone and come and go as you please then a gym program may be your thing.” Some of their popular classes are the new Boxer Fit, a high intensity class full body workout incorporating punches and athletic drills with heavy punch bags

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Tiffany Chapman shows Tanner Mclennan, 16, a few moves at the gym in the Frank Jameson Community Centre. Photo: Marina Sacht

and focus pads. The 3 C’s a cardio, circuit cycle combo is very popular as well as Zumba – a Latin inspired dance based workout. And the TRX/Bosu combo – an intense body sculpting combo not for the light hearted. Attendance is up at the gym and in the classes. They are seeing clients that are more educated and know what they want. “They have specific goals in mind and are more focussed on healthier lifestyles. They know it’s important to have daily activity,” says Sue. Wait? Did you say daily? Sue and Tiffany laugh. “Daily is good. In a seven day period on your rest day you could go for a walk or go disc golfing at

the park. It’s important to do things you like so it’s not a chore and ideally things you can do with friends and family.” For more info call 250-245-6424 or drop by the Frank Jameson Community Centre and pick up a Active Living guide. Cedar Area Fitness Classes A mover and shaker in the Cedar area is Eike Jordan who owns and operates Cedar Body Works. Eike started her business in 2008 and has quickly become a leader promoting fitness and healthy lifestyles. Originally a manager of physiotherapy at a hospital in Germany she has always




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Eike Jordan of Cedar Body Works is creating fitness opportunities

been active in sports, and she knows the importance of physical activity. When she moved to Cedar she was drawn by its beautiful rural nature but soon she realized there wasn’t much offered for residents. Eike sits on the local Parks and Rec committee is aware that planning is a long term process. Not the type of person to sit on the sidelines, she has through her company organized a series of classes currently being held at the North Cedar Intermediate School. From volleyball to badminton to yoga and Zumba and more. And while the schools and community have been very supportive she is keen to see Cedar have its own facility that is not bound to school schedules. A covered arena where sports and activities such as tennis could be held year round. Here is a list of classes all held at the North Cedar Intermediate School. Contact Cedar Body Works Ltd 250-7222241 Monday: 6-7pm MMA/Kickboxing style for juniors (age 3 - 16), 6 weeks for $48 with Joshua Spong 7-8pm MMA/Kickboxing style for adults (age 16 - 99), 6 weeks for $48 with Joshua Spong 8-9:30pm advanced Volleyball skill training (college level) Tuesday: 7-8:30 pm Badminton drop-in $2 Wednesday: Badminton with world class coach Dave Wong (1 x month) next class Wed Feb. 27 (free, call to sign up) Thursday: 7-9 pm Volleyball drop in


Friday: 4:30 - 5:30 pm Zumba, all ages, all genders $7 per class with Veronique Rioux 5:30-6:30 pm Hatha Yoga, all ages, all genders $7 per class with Veronique Rioux Both classes combined $ 12.00 Once a month health seminars with CBW staff: Feb. 23rd with our acupuncturist Cameron Wallace - Health and nutrition, easy, fun and understandable. Group classes coming up: guided walking groups, seniors get active with exercises, track and field for juniors, chair Yoga with Ginette. We are also trying to organize a regular drop in at Ladysmith for Volleyball drop in on Saturdays 5-7 pm. New in Cedar: Kickboxing Eike is excited to be able to bring Kickboxing to the community starting Feb. Taught by Joshua Spong R.M.T., a head coach of the mixed martial arts portion of McVittie Elite Training Center (Team Beef) and owner / operator of Diverse Therapeutic Massage. Josh holds a Blue Belt in Brazilian Jui Jitsu under Romie Aram of Millennia fight academy in California. Josh first fight was in May of 1999, and later that same month he had a terrible car accident leaving him with severe injuries and intense pain. Through active rehabilitation and a “never give up” attitude Josh fought his way back. Nine years later in his first amateur fight since 1999 Josh came back after being knocked to the mat twice, only to get up and TKO the young up-and-coming-star. Josh has cornered fighters in the top mixed martial art promotions such as the U.F.C., W.E.C., K.O.T.C., M.F.C., W.1, A.F.C. “Josh would be an asset in any gym and we are very lucky to have him in our facility,” says Eike. Joshua Spong will be teaching kickboxing



Lady Smith Theatre Society to purchase theatre School District 68 (Nanaimo-Ladysmith) and the Lady Smith’s Little Theatre Society have signed an agreement for the society to purchase the former Diamond Elementary School building from the school district. The society has been leasing the building and using it as their playhouse since 2003. Now arrangements have been made for the society to purchase the building, at a cost of $150,000. “We are very pleased that we have been able to make this arrangement with the theatre society,” said Board of Education Chair Jamie Brennan. “This has accomplished the district’s goal of selling properties it no longer requires for educational purposes, while at the same

time supporting a valuable communitybased organization.” A signing ceremony was held at the school district offices Dec. 21 and representatives attending from the Society were Bruce Mason and David Brown. They expressed their happiness in securing a permanent home for Lady Smith’s Little Theatre. “It has been nine long years in waiting and now we will finally have a permanent home.” Under the terms of the sale, the district is taking an interest-free mortgage on the property for five years, to allow the theatre society time to raise funds to pay off the mortgage. The deal will be finalized once it has received the Minister of Edu-

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cation’s approval and the approval of a bylaw by the Board of Education. Coming up next at the Lady Smith Little Theatre is Murder at the Howard Johnson’s, a comedy by Ron Clark and Sam Bobrick,. Directed by Gordon McInnis the two act play is a light suspense comedy involving the eternal love triangle. Set in the late 1970’s at a Howard Johnson’s Motor Inn we find Arlene, a middle-aged “Femme Fatale” and her self-absorbed, womanizing dentist-lover plotting to kill her dull and boring husband. Before too long the tables turn and the plot takes a new twist. Feb 7- 24. Tickets at or (250) 924-0658.

Reunion for Jazz trio Jazz fans will be pleased to know power jazz group NAVICA is back one time only in a reunion concert at the Queens in Nanaimo on Feb 21 at 8pm. NAVICA is a trio consisting Marty Steele on keyboards, Larry Miller on saxes, and James McRae on Drums. Steele formed NAVICA in 1998. The name is an acronym (NA-naimo, Vancouver Island, CA-nada). They were the first band that ever played the Acme

NAVICA -James McRae (drums), Marty Steele (keyboards), Larry Miller (saxes)

Cafe when it opened in 1999. They recorded a CD called “Storm Head”. Even after 13 years of dormancy, NAVICA still has legs. “We play a hard-nosed, politically incorrect “arena-style” jazz; loud, in-your-face, with very strong “anthem-style” melodies that anyone can remember. NO VOCALS, only instrumentals. Our genre is jazz, but with a decidedly rock flavor---not a fusion style with bland riff-style melodies, but real rock, funk, and hard swing,” says Steele. Steele can also be heard Sundays where he plays keyboard at the Gryphon’s Lair during their Sunday brunch.


Lucy Mistreated named Top 10 Teen Band. Back row (l-r) Cole Saunders, Colby Kambeitz Front row (l-r) Colton Mann, Kailtin Jasmine Greaves, Ryan Wallice Terry

Locals vie for Top Teen band Mid Island’s young (all under 18) rock band “Lucy Mistreated” has just been named one of BC’s Top Ten Teen Band for 2013 by Vancouver’s Youthink teen magazine. “Not being a cover band can sometimes be difficult so before being named top ten we were a little nervous. We have worked very hard over the past two years to write over 34 original songs and create a 90-minute live show with over 90% original music. We feel so honored that Youthink magazine’s panel of judges saw the potential we believe we have and are giving us a chance to show the rest of B.C.,” said the group in a statement. Lucy Mistreated features Colton Mann on lead guitar, Ladysmith’s Cole Saunders on drums, Cedar’s Ryan Wallice-Terry on bass, Nanaimo’s Colby Kambeitz lead vocals, and Duncan/ Victoria’s Kaitlin Jasmine Greaves on keyboards and vocals. Cole is inspired by the complex rhythm of Mars Volta and Thomas Pridgen, and Ryan is with the styles of John Paul Jones and Victor Wooten, Hosted by Vancouver’s Youthink Teen Magazine and sponsored by Vancouver Community College, Long and McQuade, Socan, Music BC, and many more, the contest is designed to help give BC’s top three talented young bands the knowledge, xposure, financial assistance and an opportunity to make it in the music industry. If Lucy Mistreated is fortunate enough to



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advance to the final three they will be working with professionals like Shaun Verreault of Wide Mouth Mason and Jay Evjen (Hot Hot Heat, Incura, Motion Soundtrack) of Juicemix Productions at Greenhouse studios in Vancouver. In order to make it into the top three, the young rockers need fans to sign into the contest web site “ band-contest-2013”and vote for Lucy Mistreated. Or search for Lucy Mistreated on Facebook and find the link there.

Curiosity’s reward Following his 80th birthday, Arthur Roy, a retired professional engineer who grew up in Chemainus and resides in Ladysmith decided to produce a memoir but was encouraged to write more. He decided to focus on the development of his nonconforming belief system, rather than just the details of his life and relationships. His book, Curiosity’s Reward tells the story of his search and the state of his evolving belief system; a system that provides a view of life and its meaning that is based on verifiable evidence. He believes that it should be shared not only with those who are looking for answers to the eternal questions, but also to those who would just find it an enjoyable, stimulating and thoughtprovoking read. Curiosity’s Reward (205 pages, $17) is available at Salamander Books in Ladysmith or can be ordered from any bookstore.

Buddy rocks Chemainus stage The Buddy Holly Story , Rock ‘n Roll Musical is set to hit the Chemainus Theatre. Enjoy the world’s most successful rock and roll musical featuring over 20 of Buddy Holly’s greatest hits including “Peggy Sue,” “That Will Be The Day, “Oh Boy,” and “Not Fade Away.” Zachary Stevenson is the knockout icon – Buddy – a musical powerhouse whose influence during the golden days of rock and roll rambles on today. Feb 22-April 7, 2013, Tickets 1-800-565-7738 or

5 Actors Play 24 Roles In 2005, two Yorkshiremen, Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon, came up with the idea of taking the basic story of John Buchan’s classic novel The 39 Steps and adapting it into a clever comedy for the stage. This is the Nanaimo Theatre Group’s latest show with local actor Wes Lazaroff. The challenge in this play is not only do five actors play 24 roles, but the technical requirements are equally demanding. Lights, sound, costumes, special effects, all contribute to making this show a madcap roller coaster ride. Opening on February 20 at the Bailey Studio, 2373 Rosstown Road in Nanaimo, the show runs at 8pm Wednesdays to Saturdays until March 9. Tickets are available by calling 250-758-7224 or go on-line at




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Love at first shred A Ladysmith business and a lovebird featured on Dragon’s Den, a popular TV show, have formed a partnership. When Gunn Yardley who owns Island Document Storage & Shredding saw Luigi on TV shredding paper for his owner’s greeting card business, she immediately realized that “we had a common bond.” They were in the same business…shredding paper. He is now employed by IDSS where he is their Tweet on Twitter and later he will also be doing their blogs. “As our business is a serious business about protecting our client’s privacy we feel that having Luigi on board brightens smiles and warms our clients’ hearts..” says Yardley

Spirit of Ladysmith Awards Mark Saturday, Feb 23, 2013 on your calendar for the Annual Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce Spirit of Ladysmith Awards. This is where the brightest and best are recognized for their achievements in the community. Award and dinner Tickets are available at the Chamber office. $20 per ticket. Chili, salad, buns, dessert, coffee and tea are included. Cash bar hosted by The Ladysmith Kinsmen. For more information visit their office downtown Ladysmith or call 250-245-2112.

Red Cross Health Equipment Loan Program (HELP) The Red Cross Depot in the lower level of the Ladysmith Health Care Centre contains a wide range of equipment available to the public that is loaned out at no charge: crutches, walkers, wheelchairs, commodes, bath stools and benches, toilet seat raisers, bath grab bars and bed handles. Clients are referred by doctors and therapists. This depot runs on an oncall system. Call 250-245-9791, leave your name and phone number and a Red Cross volunteer will phone back, usually

Brian Bradshaw, one of the volunteers who operate the Red Cross Depot. Photo submitted

within a few hours to arrange a mutually convenient time for you to come to the depot to pick up their equipment. Loans can be for up to three months. The service is free but donations are appreciated. The depot is manned by a team of four couples, Brian and Janet Bradshaw, Jim and Merle Cram, Corine and Vince Devries and Gay and Gus Armstrong.

RDN website features new affordable housing section Updates to the Affordable Housing section of the Regional District of Nanaimo’s website will make it easier for those seeking suitable housing to find the resources they need. “I would like to acknowledge the guidance of representatives from the Nanaimo Working Group on Homelessness and the Oceanside Task Force on Homelessness throughout this important process,” said RDN Chairperson Joe Stanhope. “The new section of our website highlights the work that the RDN and other organizations are doing to increase housing choice and affordability in the region. It also provides information about housing resources throughout the RDN, including maps directing people to the shelters in our communities.” To view the new section of the website, or to learn more about affordable housing in the RDN, visit www.rdnhousing. ca. The web pages will be updated as new information is available.

New generator for Cedar Community Hall Electoral Area A Director Alec McPherson and Jim Fiddick (representing the Cedar Community Hall Board) check out the new generator installed at the Cedar Community Hall, which is used as a Reception Centre during emergencies or disasters. The generator will allow the Reception Centre to still be able to operate and provide needs assessment service to evacuees during emergencies involving power outages. The Regional District of Nanaimo has contributed $48,000 over the last two years to install a new floor and paint the outside of the Hall.


Sewers wanted! Cedar Women’s Institute, along with BC Women’s Institutes has accepted a challenge to produce one million cotton pillow cases for BC Children’s Hospital. Locally, their branch would like to sew 30 or more by April. If you like to sew, and would be able to help please email the president, or call Janice at 250-245-4016 Connie Grinnell, with a sample of material she is using. Photo: Vickie Bellingham



Standing Up to Bullying Bullying is not a phase. One in seven students is either a bully or has been the victim of bullying. And people in our community are working hard to eradicate bullying. Vancouver Island InsuranceCentres (VIIC) places importance on programs such as the Pink T-shirt Campaign that raises awareness about bullying and helps build healthy communities. Once again this year, VIIC has designed and purchased more than 20,000 unique VIIC pink anti-bullying ‘Respect the Right to be Different’ t-shirts which will be distributed, free of charge, to school-aged children on Vancouver Island. Through community partnerships and a vast social media network, the hope for 2013 is that VIIC can reach more schools, more youth and more families than ever before. VIIC spearheads the Anti-Bullying Campaign and Pink Tshirt Day on Vancouver Island, and is the driving force behind, an online resource with a strong social media following. Adding her voice to the campaign is Ladysmith born singer Stef Lang who will be making several appearances to sign pink t-shirts, and perform for local schools in the week leading up to Pink T-Shirt Day on Wednesday February 27, 2013. Stef has written a song about anti-bullying which can be viewed on or her website at Every Vancouver Islander can stand up against bullying on February 27th by wearing pink. Jacqui Kaese of Spotlight Academy got sick and tired of watching the damage bullying does to young people. She is launching a self-esteem and personal development program for tweens, teens and young adults called Uniquely Me. Starting Feb 20, this is a life changing workshop series through Spotlight Academy, focusing on character, confidence and communication skills. Kaese knows first hand what bullying is like. “I went to an all girl’s school in England during the 70’s. It was a very volatile time of skinheads and violence. I tried to fit in by fooling myself that I was a skinhead girl but I was an artist. An actor, a singer and dancer. I loved the stage.” The girls would gang up on her during recess, her head would be shoved down dirty toilets and her blonde ringlets tied to the back of chairs in knots which had to be cut out by the teachers. Her white starched school uniform blouse would be written on with words like SLAG. Every once in a while she would fight back and was beaten and kicked. “My only request of my mother was to teach me how to fight.” Instead she put her in ballroom dancing lessons. “I hated her for it.” But when it came to The Lord Mayors ball, she was the

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only young lady who could waltz. When it came to Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative party conference, she knew how to sing. Through her drama, she knew how to articulate and spoke beautifully because of elocution lessons. “My mother was one amazing lady.” Her networking with Carole Todd, the mother of Amanda who committed suicide in October after revealing she’d been bullied for years, and the plight of a friend of hers 14 year old, made Kaese realize that despite countless programs to initiate change bullying has escalated through social media to alarming heights. Her Uniquely Me workshop serves to instill self-esteem and confidence through stronger communication skills, learning coping mechanisms, how to handle situations and ultimately “accepting oneself and truly embracing our uniqueness.” or 250-714-2555.

2013 Woodstove Exchange Program The Regional District of Nanaimo, in partnership with Nanaimo and other member municipalities is pleased to be launching a region-wide Woodstove Exchange and Outreach Program. The funding allows the regional partners to offer residents a $250 rebate to replace an existing wood burning appliance with a new high-efficiency wood stove, insert, pellet stove or gas stove/fireplace purchased while incentives last. 250390-6510 or 250-954-3798.

A warm welcome Bonnie Erickson, Regional Vice-President of Welcome Wagon, Leslie-Ann Davey of K-9 Clips receiving her 20th year sponsor plaque, Eileen Gyger, local representative of Welcome Wagon and Shannon Langevin - Area Manager, Vancouver Island, Welcome Wagon. Photo submitted


Exceptional individuals honoured by medal Recent recipients of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal Regional District of Nanaimo Chairperson are Joe Stanhope, and, in a separate ceremony, Lynn Morrison, a founding member of the Harvest House Food Bank. The commemorative medal was created to mark the 2012 celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s accession to the throne as Queen of Canada and it serves to honour significant contributions and achievements by Canadians. Stanhope has served as RDN Board Chairperson since 2002. Morrison has been a volunteer involved with numerous community groups.

MLA Ron Cantelon awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal to Regional District of Nanaimo Chairperson Joe Stanhope on January 22

John Silins, Lynn Morrison and Diana MacTavish. Morrison received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.



Ladysmith Community Gardens You may have walked by and seen members working in the gardens. Of course for them it’s not work. It’s a fun relaxing community that is growing. Created in 2010, the Ladysmith Community Garden Society located next to the ball diamond on High Street and Second Avenue grew out of local residents’ interest in building community and sharing knowledge related to gardening and local food production. Members of this garden focus on making inter-generational connections within the community, while increasing awareness of local food security and promoting organic and other environmentally sensitive gardening practices. “We have 8 passionate and dedicated

board members, approximately 50 plus garden members, and 25 dedicated community gardeners,” says president Roxanne Boyko. Every year the society with the Town of Ladysmith presents a Speakers Series. The series has grown in popularity and the Feb workshops covering Orchard Mason Bees, Pruning Fruit Trees, and Companion Gardening is sold out. But, says Boyko, due to popular demand the March Workshops have moved to a larger venue and will be held at the Ladysmith Eagles Hall. Tickets are available for March. The Feb workshops will stay at the Frank Jameson Community Centre. “This year we included some higher profile speakers -- author Linda Gilkeson and Sustainable Gardening Activist Dirk

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Becker,” says Boyko. The Speakers Series for March is as follows: Mar. 5, 7-9 pm - Grow the Most Food in the Smallest Space (with the Least Work) Speaker: Linda Gilkeson, Year Round Harvest. On the West Coast, even the smallest gardens can produce a surprising amount of food 12 months of the year. Learn how to increase your harvest of organically grown fruit and vegetables from gardens of any size using easy, low-maintenance

Kids help out at a LaFF event held at the Gardens. Photo submited Ladysmith Community Gardens. Photo: Rob Johnson




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methods that will leave you plenty of time to smell the roses. Linda is the author of Backyard Bounty: The Complete Guide to Year-Round Organic Gardening in the Pacific Northwest (on BC Best Seller list). Linda earned a Ph.D. in Entomology from McGill University in 1986, then moved to British Columbia to work for Applied Bio-Nomics Ltd., a company that produces biological controls. From 1991 to 2002 she worked for the provincial government, promoting programs to reduce and eliminate pesticide use. March 12, 7-9 pm – Grow Food Sustainably – Change Your Life! Speaker: Dirk Becker Dirk Becker, voted one of “Nanaimo’s Top 20 Most Powerful People” will passionately share how to grow more food using less land, space, soil and water! Dirk is a Speaker/Social Activist/Organic Farmer. Always environmentally concerned and globally aware, Dirk considers his mission in life that of creating a greater consciousness and teaching by example: “My interests are very broad, and my goal in teaching is about much more than simply vegetables and organics. For me, it is about creating a shift in our culture and way of being.” Tickets are $10. For more info visit the ladysmithcommunitygardensociety. or contact: Joanne, 250245-3640 or

Speaker Dirk Becker. Photo submitted


“We are all looking forward to learning more about sustainable gardening. We are also hoping to find more passionate gardeners/supporters interested in learning more about how to grow food, sharing knowledge on sustainable gardening, offering support for maintaining the growing/weeding/ watering, and finding funding for upcoming projects,” says Boyko. Some of the groups struggles include vandalism (stolen veggies/graffiti), lack of gardening equipment, and a need for more volunteers and funding. The cost of a community garden plot is $10 and it will only cost $2 to become a Ladysmith Community Gardens Society member. Donations of tools or plants are welcome as well as volunteers to help in a variety of tasks. “The Ladysmith Community Gardens Society owes our successes to the community”, says Boyko. The list of contributions is large and it’s easy to see that the Community Garden is very much involved with the community. The garden plots, soil, cart path materials, water, fence come from the Town of Ladysmith, the beautiful gazebo/arbor was donated by the Ladysmith Rotary, the shed was a donation from LaFF (funds) and Ladysmith Secondary School who provided the design and labour, hopscotch steps from Sparks, fruit tree donation from LaFF (on behalf of their board), donations of plants such as herbs, flowers, seeds, raspberries canes etc. and endless hours of support from community garden members. There’s also a number of community supported events:


They collaborate with LaFF to offer a “LaFF outside at the garden” event (spring/fall), they have joined the Rotary Garden Tour as an unofficial garden stop, meet monthly for garden “work parties” to give community gardens and garden members an opportunity to meet and greet and maintain the community garden. They grow and donate food to the Ladysmith Food Bank. This active group is looking at some new initiatives in 2013 but they need more volunteers and funding: Seedy Saturday, “outdoor harvest dance” at the garden in September, gleaning program, creating more community garden locations in and around Ladysmith and on it grows and grows. Live music in the Community Garden. Photo submitted


RDN - Area A BY ALEC MCPHERSON My previous column ended with “I will be voting ‘No’ to taxpayer-based funding” for the Island Corridor Foundation (ICF) – formerly the Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway (E&N). My concern was that, once again, municipal government was broadening the scope of its responsibilities. While the vote on the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) providing $945,000 was close (9 to 8) in terms of hands raised, the weighted vote was 37 to 27 as the City of Nanaimo used their advantage to carry the question. As a result, Area ‘A’ (Cedar, Yellowpoint, Cassidy and South Wellington) must now cough up $37,500 – our share of the monies promised – should the ICF group convince VIA to return the limited passenger service to the Island. Providing these funds within the 2013 Budget is starting to take its toll. On January 15th 2013 at an RDN Committee of the Whole meeting, the Directors were presented with an array of “cuts” – said to reduce the rate of spending to the rate of inflation, that is, about 1.5%. Casualties included a proposal to web stream Board meetings. Web streaming of meetings allows constituents to view the proceedings on their computers. It is a cost efficient way of allowing voters the opportunity to see what goes on during these meetings without having to venture out in inclement weather on rainy or snowy nights. Clearly, it is something that is more important to the rural Electoral Areas whose constituents must travel up to 50 kilometres each way if they wish to be in attendance and be better informed. Again, the weighted vote of the municipalities overruled the expenditure that would have cost Area ‘A’ property owners a one-time total of $1200 (11.8 cents per $100,000 of assessed value) with ongoing staff costs of $675. (6.7 cents per

$100,000 of assessed value) each year thereafter. This is one of the unfortunate casualties as Directors, in my opinion, ‘nickeled and dimed’ to overcome the effect of the ICF funding decision on budgets. Ironically, the City of Nanaimo and City of Parksville both provide web streaming services for their Council meetings. A couple of days later, one of the local newspapers proclaimed that the RDN had reduced increased spending to an amount 1.5% greater than for 2012. As I read the article, my professional accounting designation kicked in. Clearly, expenses are increasing at a rate that is significantly higher than the rate of inflation; however, the article allowed a reduction in capital expenditures – most significantly a $600,000 proposal for a toilet and shower facility at a sewage treatment facility – to be treated as though it was an expense item. This particular item would not have had any impact on Area ‘A’ as we do not receive any benefit from that facility. If this proposal had been funded, this capital cost would have been funded over a 20 year period with an average annual impact on expenses of about $42,000. spread over those residents receiving a benefit. For those residents who read and believed the article, I suggest that you wait until you get your property tax notice to gauge the actual tax rate increase. Happy New Year.

CVRD - Area H BY MARY MARCOTTEE In-House Curbside Collection Alternate Approval Process Results: From October 16, 2012 till November 26, 2012 the Regional District carried out an Alternate Approval Process to obtain voter approval for the adoption of Bylaw No. 3607 – In-House Curbside Collection Service Loan Authorization (Trucks and Totes) Bylaw. To defeat the bylaw, a minimum of 10% of eligible voters must submit a signed Electoral

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Response Form The AAP results were presented at the December 12th Regional Board meeting. A total of 1,337 forms were submitted in opposition to the adoption of the bylaw. Sixty-four forms were rejected for the following reasons: Fifteen were outside the service area boundary; nine forms were altered; ten had no signature; thirteen were incomplete; two were submitted as resident and non-resident property electors by the same elector; two had more than one elector on the form; one was an email submission and twelve were faxed copies. After subtracting the sixty-four rejected forms, 1,273 Elector Response Forms were declared valid. This number is less than the required 10% (it came to 4.99%) of eligible voters and therefore the Board proceeded to adopt Bylaw No 3607 at the December meeting. The following breakdown of the forms submitted shows the number of forms declared valid in each area: Mill Bay/ Malahat – 184 forms; Shawnigan Lake – 495 forms; Cobble Hill – 206 forms; Cowichan Bay – 95 forms; Sahtlam/ Glenora – 199 forms; Cowichan Lake South/Skutz Falls – 42 forms; Saltair/ Gulf Islands – 30 forms; North Oyster/ Diamond – 10 forms; and Youbou/Mead Creek – 12 forms. At that same meeting, the Board adopted a resolution to approve the award of Request for Proposals ES-020-12 for supply and delivery of three automated tandem axle waste collection trucks, to Rollins Machinery & Cowichan P&R Western Star, for a total of $855,000 plus taxes. The projected start up time for this new service is June, 2013. If you would like further information, please contact the CVRD Engineering Department at 1-800-665-3955. Development Permit Application No 7-H-12DP/RAR: At its’ January 10, 2013 meeting, the Area H Advisory Planning Commission




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reviewed and considered an application to issue a Development Permit pursuant to the Bush Creek Development Permit Area of Electoral Area H. The application was submitted by McElhanney Associated Land Surveying Ltd. for TimberWest Forest Ltd. This application affects a large land base currently within Area H which is owned by TimberWest Forest. This application is part of a long term proposal to remove the land from Area H and expand the boundaries of the Town of Ladysmith to include lots A, B, C, D and E within the Town’s boundaries. The subject properties include a total of ten parcels within Electoral Area G and H, and across a mix of zones (A-1, F-1 and F-2). The subdivision proposal involves boundary adjustments between the ten parent parcels (resulting in four new lots and six remainder lots) and also proposes to create one entirely new lot. The application complies with the subdivision and boundary adjustment criteria of Area G and Area H Zoning Bylaws, and also appears to comply with the Agricultural Land Reserve Use Subdivision and Procedures Regulation. Because this application was for a development permit only, and did not include an application for a municipal boundary expansion, the Commission was limited in the scope of their deliberations. Professional reports on well water supply, environmental impacts and riparian area regulation compliance were submitted by the applicant. After reviewing the documents, the Commission determined that the issues related to the Bush Creek Development Permit regulations were addressed, and therefore recommended to the CVRD Board that the permits be approved. However, there is a great deal of concern on the proposed municipal boundary expansion and the resulting loss of land base to Area H. Discussion occurred on how best to inform Area H residents of the impact to Area H; several proposals were brought forward. More discussion is needed on this topic, but it was agreed by all that input from Area H residents is critical to having a fair and democratic process. I will keep you posted as more information becomes available.


CVRD Area G BY MEL DOREY NEW GARBAGE TRUCKS The CVRD is moving to In-House garbage and recycling collection service beginning this summer for Saltair and the rest of the electoral areas. The private contractor will not be collecting your garbage and recycling from the curb as in the past. It will be done by new automated trucks owned and operated by the CVRD. The CVRD has been faced with ever increasing rates with the private contractors so they have decided to provide the service with publicly owned trucks themselves. These modern trucks will be automated so that the driver can raise and dump the customers’ totes with a mechanical arm without ever leaving the cab of the truck. This will enable a driver to cover many more houses in a day with greater efficiency. There is also less risk to injury to the driver and cut down on worker’s compensation costs. NEW TOTES These automated trucks require specially designed totes so that the mechanical arm can grab them securely. The CVRD will purchase these totes and provide them at no additional cost to the customers. They have easy-roll rubber wheels and have been recommended by other municipalities and regional districts. The standard tote size will be 140 litres(similar to two cans currently) for garbage and 240 litres for recycling collection. You also have the option to upsize or downsize your tote size at personal request at no extra charge. However upsizing to a larger garbage tote will result in a user fee disposal surcharge. This is because we send our garbage to Rabanco Washington to a landfill. The more we send to Washington, the more the CVRD has to pay. There are extra transportation costs for garbage but not for recycling. Recycling is done mostly locally on the island or we receive money for recycled items which recovers part of the cost. The CVRD can provide this excellent service at no extra charge to the customer, in fact, you will see a slight decrease in your annual utility bill, and can expect stable rates in the future. The CVRD can borrow money at the lowest rates in the province through the Municipal Finance Authority. It’s like having your own private bank and this bank doesn’t have to make a profit which gives us an advantage over the private contractor for the purchase of trucks. PEERLESS ROAD RECYCLING DEPOT UPGRADE The Peerless Road Drop-Off Station is getting a major overhaul this summer. The station will have to be closed some of the time while the work is being done. The money for this project is all in place and a construction contract is being let presently. With ever-increasing popularity of the site, it needs to be significantly expanded, and will be accepting many more recyclable items in a more convenient manner. The CVRD is a leader in the province when it comes to recycling. CVRD staff will provide more updates regarding temporary closure of the site and alternate drop-off options in coming weeks.



Tapping the Bigleaf Maple The leafless maples may appear to be resting until spring, but the stirrings of spring have already begun! And for sugar lovers now is the time to get in on the action. The roots have stored the carbohydrates produced last summer by the leaves. The process of transferring those sugars mixed with water and minerals from the soil to the buds, which will produce the new leaves, is now beginning. By drilling a small hole in the trunk and inserting a spile we can intercept a small amount of the sap for making syrup, teas and cooking and baking. Tapping may be an easy skill, though this does not mean getting sap is simple or easily predictable. (One of the members of our maple tapping community, Harold Macy suggested it might be easier to understand teenagers than sap flow.) Sap flow in trees is a bit of a mystery. However, we do recognize temperature fluctuation and pressure changes within the tree’s cells as important in the flow of sap. The practice of tapping sugar maple (in eastern North America) is well known and popular. This is not the case with bigleaf maple on the west coast – though

there are accounts of tapping here during World War II and a few people have continued to tap. It’s popularity – especially on Vancouver Island has been increasing steadily since 2001 and people are now tapping on a commercial scale and hundreds more on a hobby scale. Most of the interest in bigleaf maple is currently directed towards boiling or evaporating the sap into maple syrup. The choice of equipment is key to determining the scale at which one works. To get a litre or two of syrup you may be able to get away with a camp stove or even a kitchen stove (if the exhaust fan can keep up with the rate of evaporation), but for larger volumes better equipment and facilities are needed. We typically expect one to two percent sugar on Van-

couver Island and think we’ve won the lottery when it is three percent. The sap to syrup ratio will vary depending on the sugar percentage in the sap. At one percent sugar, the ratio is 86 to one. At two per cent it is 43 to 1. This is commonly called the rule of 86. Divide 86 by the sugar content of the sap to get your sap to syrup ratio. There are a great range of evaporators in use – a testimony to the creative abilities of farm and forest folk. As the sugar content increases the boiling temperature rises and the size of the bubbles in the pan get smaller. It is considered syrup at 66.5 percent sugar. At lower sugar contents the syrup may mold and at higher it will produce crystals. A refractometer or a hygrometer can be used to measure the sugar content or use a thermometer to measure the boiling temperature of the syrup. At 4 degrees Celcius (7 F) above the boiling temperature of water, it is syrup. As the sugar content gets above 50 percent it is easy to burn the syrup, so choose a pot or finishing pan where the syrup has some depth in the pan so that it doesn’t burn as readily – and from this point on monitor it very carefully. One can be very creative without having to boil the sap down to syrup. One of my favourite ways to use the sap is to simply drink it like water or boil it and make a yerba buena, mint or ginger tea. You could also replace water with sap in soups or breads. I have made delicious sushi rolls with sap being used as the fluid for sushi rice. For a filling I used lobster mushrooms I had cooked and frozen in the fall. For the dipping sauce I had boiled down sap and ginger until it was almost syrup. In the last decade the tapping of trees for sap on Vancouver Island has been increasing dramatically and this is changing the view of maple as a weed tree. The distribution of bigleaf maple and the suitable climatic conditions indicate that there is substantial potential to increase the practice of maple tapping. This might mean a species which has typically been maligned by foresters (because it competes with the more economically valuable confers) will be better valued and stewarded. Jay Rastogi is a naturalist, horticulturalist and educator living in Yellow Point



Ladysmith Maritime Society update (Excerpts from LMS Maritimer) BY MARINA SACHT It was a busy year for Ladysmith Maritime Society and 2013 is looking like it will be another banner year with exciting projects planned, said Barrie McDonald in his p r e s i d e n t ’ s New LMS president report in the Barrie McDonald Maritimer, the LMS newsletter. McDonald is the new president, who is joined on the 2013 board by two new faces Michelle Frazer and Jim Phillips. Making up the board is Doug Bell, past president, Cliff Fisher, Sonny Hockey, Betty Pearson, Carlos Pereira, and Tim Richards. McDonald praised the efforts of the volunteers who clocked in over 20,000 hours last year. Doug Bell told the membership at the AGM in December that visitors where up 36 per cent and increase of 47 per cent revenue from visitor moorage. On a sad note in December LMS lost Ken Mulholland and Ed Lipsett two members who were involved with the Saravan. The LMS is working on the development of a new Heritage Cultural Centre on the ground floor end unit of the Expo Legacy Building. Shirley Blackstaff and Marnie Craig are heading up this excit-

ing project. Part of the plans include moving the Porlier Pass troller from the floating museum to a prominent spot at the new Heritage Cultural Centre where it will be outfitted with poles and fishing gear to be on display in front of a replica fishing shack. When Bill Wilson spotted the 1950’s locally built troller being used as a playground at Harbour Chandler he recognized its historic importance and convinced the owner to donate it to the LMS. Work by the restoration crew in underway and research on the troller continues. Shirley Blackstaff is looking for information, stories, photos, from families who fished in the Ladysmith area and the Gap. Information will be shared with Isabel Oulette at the Ladysmith Historical Society who is compiling a book about fishermen and their families. LMS is hoping the Heritage Cultural Centre will be open for May and are looking for volunteers. Contact Marnie at to volunteer. LMS is looking at replacing the an-

nual Ladysmith Maritime Festival with activities and special events throughout the year. Cliff and Dianna Fisher are investigating options and welcome any suggestions. It’s official! The “Name our Floating Facility” Contest brought in many entries but the winning name is the LMS Welcome Centre. Christof Marti of Vancouver won a gift certificate to 49th Parallel Grocery Store. While the new LMS Welcome Centre is an outstanding facility the access to it via the Visitors Dock is going to get a face-lift. Plans are to extend and improve the dock as well as the north and south connector docks, reports Tom Irwin, executive director. Purple Martin birds currently in southeast Brazil will be coming back home to clean nest boxes thanks to students from the Resources Management Officer Technology class at Vancouver Island University. For info contact the LMS at 2502450109 office, 250-245-1146 marina.

Above: LMS Welcome Centre is officially named. Photo Cindy Damphousse Left: Launching of the Saravan. Two important volunteers will be missed.


The French Paradox It was an early evening in late June, 1992. Sun filtered through the acacia leaves, floral aromas wafted back and forth, softballs pinged off metal bats in the ball field across the street, and unmuffled Harleys punctuated the still, summer air with what only can be described as mechanical flatulence. No, I don’t ride a Harley, why do you ask? I was standing behind my reception table, on the restaurant’s front lawn in preparation for the arrival of 20 doctors. Little did I know I was moments away from experiencing the biggest shift in the wine business since the invention of the corkscrew. As was usual practice, I had three different whites and a token bottle of red open. The doctors arrived, the hors d’ oeuvres circulated, and then, right out of the blue, make that out of the red, it happened. Where before 80 per cent of the docs would drink white before dinner, on this particular day, despite my best efforts, no one wanted white. The three open bottles of white remained untouched. The doctor’s dramatic shift over to red was the result of the French Paradox arriving on our shores. For those of you who were vacationing in your time capsules through the nineties, the French Paradox was a study released by research scientist Serge Renaud, who observed that French people consumed lots of fat, exercised little, smoked, yet lived longer than Americans, suffering far fewer heart ailments in the process. Renauld’s explanation for this phenomenon? The French drank plenty of red wine. Renaud’s study hit the North American wine market like the Japanese hit

“The media, whose job it is to throw gasoline on the fire, especially if that fire has legs, gobbled the idea up, some stories reporting that abstinence poses a health risk...” Pearl Harbour. Within a short period of time our white wine sales went from 75 per cent of our business down to 40 per cent. In 1992 American red wine sales, which were on the decline, increased 40 per cent, all of which left guys like me with a lot of white wine going mouldy in the cooler. I mention this because just recently Renaud passed away, probably murdered by a white wine producer who went bankrupt in his wake. Please note, being a sensitive fellow, I did not use the word croaked. But in retrospect people took things too far. The 20 doctors for example. Renaud said red was good, he didn’t say white was poisonous. Your hearts aren’t going to stop beating should you, heaven forbid, have a shot of Gewurztraminer before switching over to red. The media, whose job it is to throw gasoline on the fire, especially if that fire has legs, gobbled the idea up, some stories reporting that abstinence poses a health risk. But ever since Jan and Dean

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didn’t come through with “Two girls for every guy,” I’ve been a skeptic. Take the eight glass of water a day edit that was being, literally, rammed down our throat. According to the media we had to drink eight glasses of water in addition to our other beverages. In other words, beer, wine and coffee didn’t count. It turns out the eight glasses part was taken out of context. The original study stated that yes we need eight glasses of water a day but most of us got that through drinking other beverages and eating fruits and vegetables. In other words, beer counts. With the Renauld study it was reported that red wine was good. What wasn’t reported was that he also said, “if you eat French fries and steak every day, with two glasses of wine, you won’t go very far.” And just in case any of you 20 doctors are listening, nowhere did he say that white wine should be eschewed as harmful. I also wonder about the caliber of Renauld’s work. There’s suggestion he started with his conclusion and worked backwards to justify it. He admits to being inspired by his upbringing in Bordeaux and being influenced by his parents and all their friends who lived to 80 or 90, a fact that he attributed to wine. He was also quoted as saying, “You know instinctively that wine is good for you.” Which leads us to what is the definition of a drinking problem. The answer to this question was provided by my friend Doctor… er, let’s just call him Alias, Doctor Alias, who at the time was chief medical officer of what was known as the Drug and Alcohol Abuse Commission, all highly ironic because Alias drank like a fish. “A drinking problem,” he said, one Sunday afternoon over a couple beer, double gin and tonics, two bottles of Bertani Valpollicella chased by a few Remys, “is when you drink more than your doctor. If this happens, get a second opinion, or better still, come to me.” And yes, I still have a glass of white before switching over to red. So far no ill effects. For a delicious white, take a drive to Duncan and visit the new Commons Liquor store, across from Home Depot. Pick up the deVine VRM @ $17.80. Delbert is the co-proprietor at Mahle House. Read more at




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Off to Mexico, eh? BY ROB JOHNSON For many residents of Ladysmith and area the call of Mexico is strong, and they head off to the surf and sand of Mexico’s beaches. In fact almost 1.5 million Canadians headed off for Mexico in 2010. Many of them from our area. First thoughts of winter in Mexico are often of places like Puerto Vallarta, Cancun, Mazatlan or Cabo San Lucas, but not so for many residents of the Island and in particularly those from Ladysmith and area. Located about an hour south of Puerto Vallarta on the coast lays Melaque Bay. Melaque Bay has two small fishing villages of about 6000 residents each. They are not that well known and are not what you would call destination resort areas like the larger centers like Puerto Vallarta or Cancun. They are small friendly communities that welcome visitors to become part of their community. It is this non commercial aspect that has been drawing Canadians, especially those from the Island for years. The villages are Melaque and Bara de Navad. These quaint small fishing villages have changed over the years from just fishing to a mix of local business catering to the significant number of both Mexican and non Mexican tourist. Tourists that are now finding out about

Clockwise; Group photo of Canadians found in one bar -- many from Ladysmith area. Albert Kenyon with a tree at his hotel that he planted 10 years ago Peter and Cathy Barter Even Santa comes down from Cassidy Photos: Rob Johnson

the charm they have to offer. Both of these communities have inexpensive RV parks, filled with cars and trucks from Canada, especially from BC and Quebec. They also have a good supply rental bungalows allowing people to stay for months at a time or for short stays. As a result, it is not uncommon to see many Canadians hanging out in the various restaurants and bars. A good example of this is the “Open Mike” held each Saturday afternoon at La Sirenita in Melaque. The restaurant’s 100 or so seats are filled with Canadians and Americans enjoying the happy hour and good music. It has

been estimated that the crowd is more than fifty per cent British Columbians, with more that half of that number from Vancouver Island, and the majority of those are from Duncan to Parksville During my time in Melaque I determined that at least 12 couples that were staying there for a month or more were from the Ladysmith area. Why so many from our area? I asked Alfred Kenyon 98’ just about to celebrate his 98th Birthday who has been coming here for 35 years. He and his late wife came upon it by accident one day when they were on a day trip from a larger centre and stopped to check-out the beach. They found the locals so friendly they decided to make this their holiday choice. In fact they even celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with family, and friends and many local people who had become new friends over the years. He says it’s the people, and the beach. I don’t know if Albert was the one who spread the word to the residents of Ladysmith, but over the years more and more Ladysmith and area residents have and are making the trek to Melaque. Peter and Kathy Barter, resent retirees


from their Ladysmith business (Top Drawer), are amongst the latest to winter there. Peter and Kathy had been going a neighbouring community for 5 years but this year they made the move to Melaque. Peter says “I like it here because it is not filled with concrete jungles. It is not such a tourist area. It’s much more the old Mexican style it has a feel of being a strong family area whether you are Mexican or Canadian”. Wayne Jessie former owner of Buckingham’s Browsourium who has spent his five winters here says that one of the best features is a relatively short flight to get here and the cost is not prohibitive” He also feels that the Canadians especially the Islanders have a sense of community that is supportive while not taking away from the Mexican experience. His fellow Canadians have developed a strong network that helps to spread the word of good things to see and do. On the question of safety, Greg Plumber also of Ladysmith feels “that this area and most of Mexico is as safe as if you were back home. You just have to be aware of your surrounding same as if you were in Nanaimo or Vancouver”. That feeling is also expressed by Marg Clancy of Cassidy who has been coming down for 3 years. “Just don’t do any thing stupid”, For her the weather is great and the beach is perfect, people are so friendly, and it gives her a chance to use her Spanish. Other Islanders that I spoke to agree that Melaque is great. Sandra Pederson of Nanaimo believes “Melaque is a small town where you can relax.and have fun.” Pauline List from Errington, who has been coming down for 17 years and has built a home in the area, notes that “you won’t find another Mexican town that is as friendly” So why do so many Islanders and especially Ladysmithites go to Melaque? I don’t know for sure but it likely is the combination of warm weather, reasonably priced accommodation, that small town feel that so many islanders love, and the friendly people both non Mexican and the locals. Some feel that we should not encourage more people to invade this piece of paradise. It’s too late for that , because if you ask your neighbours and your friends you will be surprised by how many have either been there or have at least heard about Melaque.



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8, 4:30pm, Zumba & Yoga, North Cedar Intermediate School 250-722-2241

22, 4:30pm, Zumba & Yoga, North Cedar Intermediate School 250-722-2241

8, 6:30pm, Whole Heart Health, Ladysmith Legion, 621-1st Ave. 250-714-5044

22, 9pm, Fred Izon, The Sportsman Pub, 640 1st Ave. 250-245-8033

9, 7:30pm, RubberbanDance Group, Port Theatre, 125 Front St. 250-754-8550

23, 6:30pm, Spirit of Ladysmith Community Awards, Aggie Hall 250-245-2112

9, 9pm, The Diamond Dawgs, The Sportsman Pub, 640 1st Ave. 250-245-8033

23, 7pm, Dance – The Esquires, Chemainus Seniors Drop in Centre, 9824 Willow St. 250-246-2111


10, 2pm, Ken Lavigne, Port Theatre, 250-754-8550

1-26, 6pm, Zumba Dance Fitness Classes, Chemainus Theater Dance Studio

11, 4:45pm, Bingo, Chemainus Seniors Drop in Centre, 9824 Willow St. 250-246-2111

25, 4:45pm, Bingo, Chemainus Seniors Drop in Centre, 9824 Willow St. 250-246-2111

1-28, 9:30am, Warmland Calligraphers Show ,Sale, Valley Vines to Wines Loft Gallery, Mill Bay Shopping Centre

11, 6pm, Kickboxing, North Cedar Intermediate School 250-722-2241

1- 28, 7:45pm, Badminton, Chemainus High School, $4 drop in fee 250-246-3811

12, 5:30pm, Shrove Tuesday Pancake Dinner, St. Philip Cedar, 250-722-3455

1-2, 7:30pm, Oklahoma, Cowichan Theatre, 2687 James St. 250-748-7529

14, 11am, Heart Healthy Demonstrations, Pharmasave, 441 1st Ave. 250-245-3113

1-2, 8th Annual Vancouver Island Short Film Festival, Malaspina Theatre 250-729-3947

14, Valentine’s Day Romantic 4 Course Dinner, Mahle House Restaurant 250-722-3621

28, 7pm, Stuart McLean’s The Vinyl Cafe, Port Theatre, 125 Front St. 250-754-8550

1, 4:30pm, Zumba & Yoga, North Cedar Intermediate School 250-722-2241

14, Valentine’s Day Special Evening of Dining, Odika, 2976 Mill St. 250-324-3303

28, 7pm, Ladysmith Search & Rescue Meeting, classroom behind Ladysmith Fire Hall 250-245-8726

2, 2pm, Mark Crissinger & Pat Turner, The Wheaty, 1866 Cedar Rd. 250-722-2240

14, Valentine’s Day 4 Course Dinner, Page Point Bistro, 4760 Brenton Page Rd. 250-924-1110


2, Open Mic Songwriters Night, Willow Street Café, 250-246-2434

15, 4:30pm, Zumba & Yoga, North Cedar Intermediate School 250-722-2241

3, 2pm, Oklahoma, Cowichan Theatre, 2687 James St. 250-748-7529

16, 9:30am, Pancake Breakfast, Chemainus Seniors Drop in Centre, 9824 Willow St. 250-246-2111

3, Super Bowl Party, The Wheaty, 1866 Cedar Rd. 250-722-2240

16, 5pm, Birthday Party, Chemainus Seniors Drop in Centre, 9824 Willow St. 250-246-2111

4, 7pm, Town of Ladysmith Council meeting, 410 Esplanade 250-245-6400

16, 7:30pm, The Vagina Monologues, Cowichan Theatre, 2687 James St. 250-748-7529

4, 4:45pm, Bingo, Chemainus Seniors Drop in Centre, 9824 Willow St. 250-246-2111

16, 7:30pm, Dancestream, Port Theatre, 250-754-8550

4, 6pm, Kickboxing, North Cedar Intermediate School 250-722-2241 4, 7pm, LVI Dealing with people who drive you nuts, Stacey Holloway, Port Theatre, 125 Front St. 250-754-8550 5, 10:30am, Sarah Hagen, Port Theatre, 125 Front St. 250-754-8550 5, 11:30am, Nanaimo/Ladysmith Retired Teachers’ Association luncheon, 2060 East Wellington Rd. 250-753-5971

16, Company Damn, The Wheaty, 1866 Cedar Rd. 250-722-2240 17, 2:30pm, Rhapsody in Blue, Cowichan Theatre, 2687 James St. 250-748-7529 18, 7pm, Town of Ladysmith Council meeting, 410 Esplanade 250-245-6400 18, 4:45pm, Bingo, Chemainus Seniors Drop in Centre, 9824 Willow St. 250-246-2111 18, 6pm, Kickboxing, North Cedar Intermediate School 250-722-2241

25, 6pm, Kickboxing, North Cedar Intermediate School 250-722-2241 26, 7pm, Cedar School & Community Enhancement Society Annual General Meeting, 1644 MacMillan Rd. 26, 7pm, Hands on Shooting Workshop, Ladysmith Camera Club, Hardwick Hall 250-606-7011 27, Pink T-Shirt Day – No Bullying

2, 7:30pm, Oklahoma, Port Theatre, 125 Front St. 250-754-8550 3, 2pm, Oklahoma, Port Theatre, 125 Front St. 250-754-8550 4, 7pm, Town of Ladysmith Council meeting, 410 Esplanade 250-245-6400 4, 4:45pm, Bingo, Chemainus Seniors Drop in Centre, 9824 Willow St. 250-246-2111 4, 6pm, Kickboxing, North Cedar Intermediate School 250-722-2241 5, 6pm, Healing Pathway Group, Ladysmith First United, 232 High St. 250-245-2183 6, 6pm, Open Badminton, North Cedar Intermediate School 250-722-2241 6, 7pm, Ladysmith Women’s Dragon Boat Info Meeting, LMS Welcome Centre 250-245-0474 8, 6:30pm, Whole Heart Health, upstairs at Legion 250-714-5044 9, 7:30pm, Digging Roots, Port Theatre, 250-754-8550 10, 7:30pm, Terri Clark, Port Theatre, 250-754-8550

5, 6pm, Healing Pathway Group, Ladysmith First United, 232 High St. 250-245-2183

19, 6pm, Healing Pathway Group, Ladysmith First United, 232 High St. 250-245-2183

5-13, Orals Prep, Western Marine Institute, 3519 Hallberg Rd. 250-245-4455

19, 7pm, Security Issues with Jerry Flynn, John Barsby School Nanaimo

6, 9:30am, Muffin Mornings, Chemainus Seniors Drop in Centre, 9824 Willow St. 250-246-2111

20-28, 8pm, The 39 Steps, Bailey Studio, 2373 Rosstown Rd. 250-758-7224

7, 10am, Open House, St. Joseph’s School, 9735 Elm St. 250-246-3191

20, 11:30am, Lunch, Chemainus Seniors Drop in Centre, 9824 Willow St. 250-246-2111

7, 4pm, Chamber/LDBA Joint PST Seminar, Ladysmith Legion Upstairs 250-245-2112

20, Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce General Meeting, 250-245-2112

13, 6pm, Open Badminton, North Cedar Intermediate School 250-722-2241

7, 5pm, Family Fun Night, St. Joseph’s School Gym, 9735 Elm St. 250-246-3191

21, 7pm, Festival of Lights Meeting, FOL Building, 1163 4th Ave. 250-245-5888

15-16, Home Garden & Business Show, Aggie Hall 250-245-2112

7-24, Murder at the Howard Johnson’s, Ladysmith Little Theatre 250-924-0658

21, 7:30pm, Navica Reunion, The Queens, 34 Victoria Ct. 250-754-6751

8, 10th Annual Zonta Red Gala, Coast Bastion Inn 250-758-7632

22- Apr 7, Buddy the Buddy Holly Story, Chemainus Festival Theatre, 250-246-9820

11, 4:45pm, Bingo, Chemainus Seniors Drop in Centre, 9824 Willow St. 250-246-2111 11, 6pm, Kickboxing, North Cedar Intermediate School 250-722-2241 12, 10:30am, Sarah Hagen, Port Theatre, 125 Front St. 250-754-8550 12, 7:30pm, Beatles vs Stones, Port Theatre, 250-754-8550

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CLASSIFIED ADS PAINT & SAVE OPTION: Do it yourself, with a little help from a pro together we can make your job more affordable and accomplish a great look. Making the world a brighter place over 25 years. Call Harvey - 250-245-2174 BROKE BRIDES WEDDING CONSIGNMENT just launched and is looking for inventory. Click the “About” link on our Facebook page for full details or contact Rita at 250-715-7611 DRIVING LESSONS: Approaching Road Test time? Need an Evaluation of your driving skills? Collision Avoidance Training. Road Test Package Discounts. Gift Certificates available. 49th Parallel Driving School. 250-416-1606 or 250-619-2713 HOME BUDDIES PET & HOUSE CARE since 1994. Licensed, Bonded, Insured. Professional, kindhearted, experienced and reliable care for all pets. Pet First Aid and CPR Certified. Certified Security Professional through Westguard Security. When loving care and security are essential, Peggy Wildsmith- 250245-0151 MOBILE HAIRSTYLIST- For women who can’t or don’t want to drive. Specializing in perms and roller set! Please call Wendy at 250-924-8602. “KAREN’S INDUSTRIAL SEWING” IS BACK! Relocated to North Cedar/Akenhead Rd. Open for alterations and repairs, Production work etc… for appt. call 250-323-6322. PROFESSIONAL PET CARE SERVICE: leash ‘em & walk ‘em with Marlena. Insured & bonded. Animal First Aid and CPR. Service for all pets including dog walking, home care visits, overnight with pet in your home and much more. As my love is yours! 250-246-3394. ACCOUNTING SERVICES with 23 years experience, providing full accounting solutions to include payroll T4’s and CRA remittances. 250-802-0048

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KITTY KORNERS CAT HOTEL - Purrsonalized Quality Kitty Care. Daily health checks, experienced with special needs kitties. Reasonable rates. Available 24/7. 2 km north Nanaimo Airport. Take a virtual tour 250-740CATS (5287) GOT GRANITE? Have your Granite and Marble Countertops professionally sealed and buffed. Kitchens starting at $75. We do tile as well! SealTech Specialties, call Stuart at 250-734-2681. LIGHTWORKS WINDOW WASHING. Careful and Conscientious. Call David at 250-722-3599 SENIOR CARE & FAMILY HELPER with Linda. Mature, experienced, reliable help. Transportation, errands, healthy meals, overnight stays, pet care and light house keeping. Excellent references. Criminal record check, first aid. Linda Stedfield 250-245-8647 HANDSOME HANDYMAN 250-245-3969 30 years exp. Multiple Trades. Carpentry, home repairs. Landscape your yard with retaining walls, garden beds & stairs of natural or cultured stone. It’s pruning time! KEN’S MOBILE MARINE SERVICE - 25 years in the business. Licensed Marine Mechanic. Thinking of winterizing? “We come to you!” Need a diving service? Ask Us. Contact Ken 250-210-0756. ZUMBA for students and adults. Offered through Cedar Secondary School’s Karen St.Cyr and Cedar Body Works. Tuesdays 4-5pm, at Woodbank School gym: minimum 15 participants, 6 sessions $ 50.00. 250-722-2241 AJ”s PLUMBING AND GAS -Licensed-BondedInsured. Service-Installations-Renovation -New construction. Quality workmanship. No travel charges. Free estimates. On time every time. 250802-7123 OFFICE SPACES -Downtown Ladysmith, modern, a/c, renovated, wired, reasonable rent or lease. 250-245-3395 THINKING OF SELLING YOUR HOME? Perhaps ready for a fresher look in your existing home? The affordable design services provided by Rooms n Blooms can help. Call Shar at 250-245-0548 or email . CERTIFIED R.C.A. /22 years experience, affordable, reliable, trusted and personalized care. Available for personal care, respite and palliative care, housekeeping, meal preparation, errands, appointments, etc. Call Sheila 250-924-2273 QUALITY RENOVATIONS big or small. 25 yrs exp/journeyman, affordable. For free estimate call Lars 250-616-1800 RUBBISH REMOVAL - Fast service from your home to the dump. 250-619-0595


AGILE HOME REPAIR & IMPROVEMENT For all your carpentry and home repair needs. From repairing/replacing siding, decks, fences to interior finishing including home ventilation. Fully insured. Call IAN 250-714-8800. HANDCRAFTED GEMSTONE NECKLACES. Jade, garnet, lapis, aventurine and more! $20 each. See jewelry table at Campers Corner Saturday flea market, 8am-3pm. 250-245-3829 THE HAPPY GARDENER. Weeding, Digging, Cutting back (blackberries, etc), Tidying up, Miscellaneous Yard Work. Cheerful and Conscientious. Call David at 250-722-3599 ISAGENIX DISTRIBUTOR - Get Lean & Healthy Fast - Less than $5/ meal. Our protein shakes are amazing! - No Gluten, Wheat, Barley or Trans Fat. Suzanne Deveau 250245-8407 1994 T-BIRD - For parts or fix up. New snow tires. and second set of “rain” tires, $300.250-245-9165 LYNN’S SENIORS CARE HOME - High Quality Personalized Care. Warm caring environment, great food AND snacks, family events, couples

and pets welcomed, ocean views, gardens. North of Ladysmith. 250-245-3391. www. LEARN A LANGUAGE FOR FUN AND TRAVEL Small groups, conversational approach, excellent teachers, daytime and evening classes. French, Spanish, Italian, German, Japanese, Mandarin and more. Register now for ongoing sessions at WENTWORTH COURT LANGUAGE CENTRE, 517 Wentworth St., Nanaimo. 250-716-1603 SAVE $$$ WITH GORD’S YARDWORKS -Time for rototilling and fall yard preparation. Need lawn mowing and yard debris cleanup and removal? Special services and seniors discounts available. 250-246-3640, 250-210-3860, gordsyardworks@ ISLAND PRUNING -Professional tree care from large scale orchards to budding new trees. I can meet any pruning need. Shrubs, vines and ornamentals. Ask about summer pruning. Call Darcy Belcourt 250-245-1260. EXPERIENCED, RELIABLE, BONDABLE, RESIDENTIAL, COMMERCIAL & LIGHT CONSTRUCTION CLEANER has openings in the Ladysmith area. Rates start at $18.00 per hour. Seniors Discount. References available 250-327-9644 HEALTHY CHOICE: the Rolls Royce of Nutritional Supplements at Honda prices – for more energy, vitality, and a powerful immune system. Money back guarantee. Call Elaine 250-912-0089 or WANTED: Sailboat on trailer. Good condition, good price. 250-245-9165

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BOWEN TECHNIQUE is a gentle soft tissue remedial therapy that resets the body to heal itself. Useful for joint, back and neck pain, frozen shoulder, asthma, chronic fatigue and many other problems. For information and appointments call 250-245-7738. Lilja Hardy FMBAC in practice since 1994. DUCKS IN A ROW? Simply Accounting bookkeeping services (full-cycle) for sole proprietors, incorporations, new company setup, HST, Source Deductions, Payroll, etc. 16 yrs experience, pick up and drop off available. 250-245-1390 COMPUTER PRO -Mobile Certified Technician for on-site computer repairs and service in your home or office. $30 service call. Networks, printers and PC tuning. Senior’s Rate: $25. 250-802-1187 ARE YOU DOWNSIZING, moving, clearing an estate? We are interested in purchasing jewelry, china collectables, small appliances, furniture, and newer inside/outside home décor. Wendy 250-245-2079, Fern 250-9244419. LOSE WEIGHT TO WIN PRIZES! www. More Info: Diane Saunders 250-722-3996 RUBBISH REMOVAL, big or small, fast friendly service 250-619-0595 E-STORE featuring locally Island made products now accepting listings - products and gift certificates. Free to list. Visit for details and to view locally made gifts and products.


Ladysmith decides to join Cowichan Valley Regional Transit -behind closed doors During the “in camera” (behind closed doors) portion of Ladysmith Town Council’s Dec 3 meeting, Council agreed to join the CVRD Transit Sysytem. Because the public wasn't allowed to attend this portion of the meeting, we are left in the dark as to what facts and figures were presented to aid Council in its decision. Was there a business plan presented to Council with a complete cost benefit analysis? What is Council's plan to do with the existing trolley it owns? How much will it cost us? What will happen to the existing trolley drivers? These are just some of the many unanswered questions regarding this decision. Council also asked that the Cowichan Valley Regional Transit Service amend its plans to allow Ladysmith to have a connection to Nanaimo in one to five years instead of the present plan of six to fifteen years, but they don't have any assurance

that this will happen. This opens another can of worms as we don't know what additional costs will occur from this. An issue as important as Ladysmith joining Regional Transit and the resulting change of our existing trolley system should, in my opinion, have been done out in the open and only after a full and public evaluation of a costs benefit analysis. Should we not be able to have an idea of what the costs are going to be, especially if it is, as I understand it, once in, you’re in for good; there is no getting out? What also disturbs me is that not only was this decision made behind closed doors, but I believe that this action was done in violation of the Community Charter which the Town has to adhere to. The Charter allows Council to hold in camera meetings, but only under limited conditions. Council must pass a resolution at an open public meeting. The resolution must include, “that the meeting or part of a meeting is to be closed; (state the reason for the decision to close the meeting)” (OPEN MEETINGS: best practices guide of local government). Nowhere on the agenda for the December 3rd meeting was it indicated that there was to be an in camera session. The minutes show only: It was moved, seconded and carried at 9:19 pm. that Council retire into Executive Session following a two-minute recess.

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That resolution fails to indicate any reason for the meeting to be closed to the public. Therefore, in my opinion, the resolution is invalid. Even if they had stated a reason for holding this discussion in camera, I do not feel that this reason would be sufficient under the appropriate section of the Community Charter to allow Council to take the issue behind closed doors.

Ladysmith decision to join CVRD Transit System leaves unanswered questions

I really hope that in this new year Council becomes more transparent in its handling of our business. I challenge each and every Councilor to work towards transparency, as transparency is a cornerstone of democracy. I ask you to stand up and challenge any item that you feel doesn't meet the most stringent criteria for excluding it from the public forum. It is your responsibility to protect the interests of the community in the most transparent way possible. At least that’s as I see it. Agree or disagree?




Wicked in Love ~ In times like these men should utter nothing for which they would not be willingly responsible through time and in eternity. ~ Abraham Lincoln I was in it before I realized. Trouble that is, and all because of love. What else could I be in trouble for? Love and trouble...well I’d been in that for 38 or 9 odd years, and yup, I was in it again all right. Hadn’t seen it coming, all defenses were down. Not even a hint or warning. And innocent beginnings they were, 2012 just a few days old, me recalling it was a leap year, just like when we’d tied the knot in ‘76. Though, I hastened to add, it was I who vanquished all suitors of the lovely maid Moadian, winning the hand of my beloved despite the long-standing expectation she’d held that highschool sweetheart, Laurie #1, would be the groovy groom to walk her down the aisle. One moment there I was recalling how I, Laurie #2, prevailed against all odds, how love potion #9 had me head over heels, deeply, madly, I-can’tthink-straight smitten over the beautiful Jackie Moad. The next I was cursing my feeble brain for not seeing it coming. Whoa, whoa, this ride’s getting bumpy and the cliff’s just up around the bend. Whoaaaa! As it turns out it’s the little details that

can really get you in trouble. Like what you say in your wedding vows. Whooaa, bridle that mare I did not say, nosirreee. When asked what I did say however, and I should’a seen it coming, I didn’t even give it a second thought. “I’ll love you forever,” I said that I’d said, way back when ...when we got hitched, bridled like. And a hint of a frown simultaneously appeared on my beloved’s brow. ‘No’, my most wonderful and gorgeous partner in life replied, reining in my braggardly ways. And, even though a prickly sensation twitched most wickedly at the back of my neck, it really hadn’t registered in that very small part of my brain that actually pays attention to important matters, a storm was a-brewin’. “Well, uhmmm, like, it was 35 or 6 years ago, y’know, and...” “And if it was important to you you would remember, right?” I heard my loving, most-cherished and adorable better-half purr softly. And this time the hair on my neck stood straight up, and the brain shifted directly into survival mode, adrenaline rushing to the cortex,

search engine scouring the outer recesses for memory snippets. What actually had I said that day, by the lake, when we crooned our life-long love for each other? I mean, like, I knew it was something important, like forever, right? Because, of course that would be what I’d say if I had a brain, a heart, the nerve. No, I steadied myself, that was the short-term memory kicking in ...Tinman, Scarecrow and Cowardly Lion singing and danc-

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ing their way to the Wizard of Oz on the holiday movies. C’mon brain, don’t fail me now, no amusing distractions. A photographic memory isn’t just for photographs y’know. Give it up. I mean, an excuse popped up unbidden, how was I to remember what I forgot? But whoaa, don’t admit that, no sirreee, Dead end thataway. Straight over the cliff. Think, think. Something significant, you said something meaningful, that captured the heart of the fair maiden and put you above all others in the contest for her love and affection. Think brain think! I toyed with a distractive move, a Plan B that might nuance the moment, allowing me to tap into the cob-webbed archives and deep recesses of oh-so-many loving memories. That was it, a little voice chirruped, say there was just too much love, too many good memories to try and recall just one! No, no, portentous, syrupy nonsense masquerading as heartfelt stirrings. She wouldn’t buy it. Here there be dragons. This was no time to throw love’s vows and elicitations of god-like devotion to the wind. This was of a higher order, a defining time of my past, when I must swear my eternal love and the passions that flamed hot and bright. And there it was, chiming in, right on time, before I could dig myself deeper. Good ol’ brain. “I promised to love you for time and eternity,” I said, with a great big smile. And for that I got a wondrously poignant hug, and a sweet, sweet kiss that I’ll never forget. Never. Laurie Gourlay has worked with environmental groups for thirty years, farms 20 acres organically on Vancouver Island with life-partner Jackie Moad, and vows such eternal love to her so that all the wee creatures might hear and rejoice too, whilst actively seeking local solutions to global challenges of course. Jackie Moad and Laurie Gourlay smooching with the love van behind them.



Profile for Take 5 Publications

TAKE 5 February 2013  

Newsmagazine with local Vancouver Island events, news and entertainment

TAKE 5 February 2013  

Newsmagazine with local Vancouver Island events, news and entertainment