Letters to the editor – Dec. 2

Weekly letters to the editor from within the Sooke community.

Arts funding must be restored

This summer I moved from eastern Canada to Sooke and I love this community.

Besides the beauty and the small town friendliness, I have marveled at the community support for a multitude of endeavors in a town of this size. One of the first organizations I joined is the Sooke Community Arts Council.

As an artist I have benefited from the support of sharing information with fellow art lovers and experienced the joy of displaying art works in Sooke venues.

This sense of belonging and enrichment of one’s commitment to making art has been possible because of the leadership and hard work of the Sooke Community Arts Council — all on a volunteer basis.

I am dismayed at the turn of events with the District of Sooke’s grant review committee’s decision to cut funding to the arts council – and the subsequent loss of the matching grant from BC Arts Council.

Some of the negative financial consequences from this withdrawal of funding are:

• SCAC’s sponsorship of the Sooke Fine Arts Society ends.

• The unique and art event Appetite for Art has been cancelled and there will be no funding for the Sooke Food Bank from that event.

• Year round art events sponsored by the SCAC will no longer take place and consequently no longer will tourists be arriving in Sooke to eat in restaurants, stay in B&Bs, make purchases and get a good feeling about Sooke as a destination to return to.

Art is an essential, vibrant and time honoured part of the human experience.  Since moving here I have been excited that Sooke has such a thriving art community and to keep this alive I urge Sooke council to reconsider and continue to fund art in Sooke through grants to the community arts council.

Sue Smith

Sooke

 

Sooke needs nice park for families

Re: Ideas offered for future development (News, Nov. 25)

I’m all for development in Sooke.

One thing council might consider is a nice park for the citizens of this beautiful place to enjoy – a park that has provision for children’s slides and play area as well as family picnic and barbecue areas.

Other things to be considered would be a horseshoe pit, badminton, basketball hoops, etc. It’s just something to think about.

Kent Malm

Sooke

 

Remembering Const. Williams

Late Mountie remembered with street sign (News, Nov. 11)

I was on duty at Colwood detachment when this terrible thing occurred. I remember them trying to get Const. Reg Williams on the police radio. They finally located Lew Dempsey. He went to the Government wharf in time when the vehicle was pulled from the water and he saw that the car was an RCMP cruiser.

Lots of grief on the part of RCMP members on Vancouver Island.

Art Pruett

Maple Ridge

•••

I think a street name is adequate. He was only here a short time. Doing more isn’t necessary.

Pirjo Raits

Sooke

 

Arts funding benefits entire community

I’m writing in response to the recommendations of the District of Sooke’s grant review committee to slash funding for the arts in Sooke.

My feeling is that this committee of four individuals neglected to show due diligence in reaching their decisions. They don’t seem to be aware of the major impact these cuts will have on our reputation as a welcoming arts community, the financial loss to local businesses, and loss of employment opportunities for the people of Sooke.

The loss of our matching grant from B.C. Arts Council means SCAC sponsorship of the Sooke Fine Arts Society ends. An example of the consequences this brings: Appetite for Art has already been cancelled. This in turn means no funding for the Sooke Food Bank from that event. It means the loss of income for local businesses involved. It means loss of income to the Prestige who employ local people. And on and on it goes. No funding from them means no matching funds means no Appetite for Art and that is just one example.

What the grants committee fails to understand is the money all goes back into the community and then some. Hundreds of volunteers participate in bringing these events to fruition. Such a small investment on the part of the district creates a huge benefit financially and culturally to our community.

I implore the Council of the District of Sooke to not accept the recommendations of the grants review committee with respect to the arts community of Sooke.

Maureen Savoy

Director,Sooke Community Arts Council

 

Site C opponents take fight to court

Re: Site C dam will destroy pristine Peace River Valley (Letters, Nov. 11)

A couple of weeks ago I stood at the overlook above the proposed Site C dam site near Fort St. John, and saw a swathe of clearcuts.

Residents described how Hydro cut old-growth eagle trees, crushed beaver dams with machinery, and chipped tall trees despite promises to salvage merchantable timber.

However dramatic this may look as Hydro’s spin fodder, when viewed against the nine-year engineering plan these are baby steps.

Logging riverbanks and harassing eagles is not dam construction.

There is plenty of time to stop this costly boondoggle that has been purposely kept sheltered from full regulatory scrutiny.

And yes, agricultural soils – not just the boreal forest – do store globally significant amounts of carbon. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, agricultural soils are among the planet’s largest reservoirs of carbon and hold potential for expanded carbon sequestration.

Even more to the point, agricultural soils produce food, which we can no longer afford to take for granted in an era of droughts and extreme weather. The Peace Valley has the capacity to provide fruits and vegetables for one million British Columbians every year.

When the government doesn’t listen – the only option left to citizens is to go to court. Treaty 8 First Nations and Peace Valley landowners are giving it all they’ve got.

Ana Simeon

Sierra Club B.C.

 

Don’t handcuff future property owners

Re: Ideas offered for future development (News, Nov. 25)

Why rezone it and handcuff a buyer to a roundabout and amenities without understanding the development costs first?

The old Mulligan site has suffered a similar fate. Do not rezone this just to have it come back later once new owners realize they can’t make it work.

Herb Haldane

Sooke