Author: The Activist

Sunnydale

The comprehension of limits is a shattering experience; as shattering as the discovery that the earth is not flat and not the centre of the cosmos. -John N. Cole  Once there was a lovely little town. All the people (about 10,000) loved the fine weather and bright sun that shone down on them year after year, so they named their blessed little village Sunnydale. After people lived there for a long time they began to think that the sun had taken a special liking to their town and saved all its brightest, most vibrantly mellow rays just for their village. Sunnydale was special for other reasons too. It was surrounded with lush green forests, broken only by gentle meadows where long waving grasses mixed with the wildflowers in the most delightful arrangements. The valley bottom was full of rich fertile soil and grew some of the finest crops in the nation. When the people first came to Sunnydale, they looked on the rich soil, the clean water, the bright sunshine, and the tall forests. The land was good, so the people set about building houses, planting gardens, and raising their families. They held dances to celebrate the goodness of the land and the vigor of health that ran through their bodies. Unfortunately, nothing stays the same, and over the years, things began to change. Oil was pumped out of...

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Conversations for a Better World

“The internet and the e-culture it anchors masks and drowns out the subtle and vital information contact with the real world once provided. There are lessons, enormous lessons, lessons that may be crucial to the planet’s persistence as a green and diverse place and also to the happiness of its inhabitants-that real, visceral connection with other people and nature teaches and the internet can’t.” ― Bill McKibben, lightly paraphrased “We need to create a different experience of time where we live life in slower, more reflective ways, savoring our lives and recapturing exuberance and laughter.”            — Cecil Andrews, lightly paraphrased Over the years I have attended a long list of workshops but-out of all of them-only two stand out in my memory. One week-long workshop I took many years ago titled “Where People Fly and Water Runs Uphill,” was based on Jungian dream interpretation. It gave me insights to myself and my connection to all of life that I will never forget. The other workshop/seminar that continues to inform my life after many years was by Cecil Andrews and titled Slow life—good life. It was based on Cecil’s book Slow is Beautiful. It sticks in my memory partly because of the story she began the seminar with—a story about how she shops at a small grocery store where she examines the food she is buying carefully and appreciatively calling...

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Growing a sustaining and sustainable local food system

Strategies to enhance a sustaining and sustainable local food system submitted by David Wicklund After having spent most of my life involved in agriculture from operating a conventional 1600 acre Saskatchewan farm to two degrees in Agriculture including a Master’s in Regenerative Agriculture, to lead hand at Comox Valley’s Pattison Certified Organic Farm, I have become convinced that small scale organic vegetable farming is the key to producing healthy food, a healthy local economy and a more mutually sustaining relationship with our Earth. Scale For a moment I want to set aside the larger argument for organic farming and focus on the associated idea of small scale. Scale (small) is key to farming that is sustaining, sustainable AND doable. Small scale farming is the only way the large majority of perspective young farmers can make a reality of their dreams of supporting a family while living their dream of producing healthy food in a sustainable way. The idea of the family farm is facing serious challenges due to the aging farming population with limited interest in extending the family connection to farming.  I regularly meet young people who are enthused about farming, especially organic, but the cost of purchasing an existing conventional farming operation is significant/very often prohibitive. Even when land is available, the cost of machinery to run a conventional farm can be as limiting as land costs....

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Sometimes you get so much more than you deserve

 This week I want to set aside all level of politics and even my passion for the path to a more just and sustainable world, and—for this one post—tell a few stories about what sustains me. I have, for the past twenty years, been involved as an instructor in what was once the Vancouver Island Skiing for the Disabled Society and has recently been renamed the Vancouver Island Society for Adaptive Snowsports Association (VISAS). Established on Mt Washington in 1992, VISAS was nurtured and guided by the dream of the legendary Comox Valley sports advocate Herb Bradley who believed that making skiing available to people who couldn’t ski due to physical or cognitive challenges could be a very delightful and even transformative experience–people who would otherwise never know the exhilarating body-joy of drifting/dancing down the mountain; free like a bird playing in a rising current of air. VISAS today is an organization of over ninety volunteer instructors who adapt the teaching methodologies of the Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance to the particular needs and abilities of people with an incredible array of physical and cognitive challenges including amputees, blind, disabling diseases like MS and arthritis, as well as cognitive challenges like autism, attention/memory loss, etc. In addition to providing instructors/facilitators, VISAS provides clients with the free use of adaptive equipment like sit skis (skis on a seat) and discounted lift...

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Trudeau Lies!

I am angry, broken-hearted and deeply worried about the consequences of  Prime Minister Trudeau’s decision to abandon his unequivocal, often repeated 2015 election promise that the 2015 Canadian election would be the last one under the democracy defying first past the post voting system where a small block of voters can elect a majority government. The gutting of any semblance of reasonable governance, social decency or the common good that is going on in the United States under the results of a presidential electoral system that undermines the popular vote underscores my belief that a prime minister committed to any semblance of a just, sustaining and sustainable Canada would have to be committed to bringing in the kind of electoral reform that ensures our parliament represents the will of, at least, the majority of Canadians. Under our first past the post electoral system the Conservative Party’s 30% base, a base that stuck with them even under Harper, could easily be expanded to another 39% Canadian Conservative Party “majority” government with its Trump-wan-a-be fear mongering, e-hate, attacks on minorities and its corporatist right-wing agenda. Trudeau talks of a lack of consensus on electoral reform citing differing preferences among Canadian political parties. One has to wonder, about what other issues the Prime Minister is waiting for consensus among the parties on. In fact there is a clear consensus among the parties—they...

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Upcoming Events

Jul
29
Sat
9:00 am Comox Valley Farmers’ Market
Comox Valley Farmers’ Market
Jul 29 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Each Saturday features a delicious recipe from the North Island Chefs Association – and of course all of the wonderful local producers of vegetables, meats, baking, preserves, fish and more! See you at the Native[...]
8:00 pm Wayward’s Outdoor Movie Party #3 @ Wayward Distillation House
Wayward’s Outdoor Movie Party #3 @ Wayward Distillation House
Jul 29 @ 8:00 pm – Jul 30 @ 1:00 am
Save the date and grab your “Sunday Best 😳” Wayward is bringing you The Rocky Horror Picture Show! Cocktails, Costumes, Toast, TP and rubber gloves ;) Stay tuned for all the details https://www.facebook.com/events/231639774014194/
Jul
30
Sun
12:00 pm Tin Town MURAL Painting- “Field ... @ Ki Fitness & Health
Tin Town MURAL Painting- “Field ... @ Ki Fitness & Health
Jul 30 @ 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
🌷🌹🥀Join artist Helen Utsal in creating a public mural- a field of flowers in Tin Town! 🌻🌼🌸 Drop in from 12-4pm. Supplies provided. Donate to paint your flower and support Project Watershed. 💦 (Thank you[...]

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